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On a low-sloping hillside in early December--
where? Tennessee? New Jersey?--we lay back
after a long walk. You went on about something,
maybe politics--I'd stopped listening.
We were inside a circle, tall trunks of bare oak, maple,
the sky above us shot through with dark limbs.

Whatever pain your not loving me, I can't say now,
left behind so long ago. But indigo sky,
fan of naked trees--their shapes cut a pattern
for bleak joy. However alone, I find the imprint
still holding, sky setting off dark branches, trees
arching on the cold canopy of winter.

First published in Poetry International. Copyright ® Beverly Burch.

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