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Obituary (For a father)

THE BALTIMORE SUN

When the branches of the hickory tree

bobbed up and down

ripe with squirrels,

and the yellow leaves

circled the ground around the maple,

in that neither-nor time

with the frost creeping around the edges of the

roof at morning,

he fell silent.

his veins white against his ivory skin.

His son, smaller than the hard-boned ebony dog,

swung on a creaking branch

with the gray-puffed squirrels

and wiped his nose on his sleeve

while he counted the days to Christmas.

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