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Portrait of Evening

Portrait of Evening

A group of us are listening

inside a stand of Hemlock,

and the evening is falling

upon a young girl first.

Her dirt covered fingers

sift warm air for starlight,

fuchsia nail polish worn to patches.

Her hair is a wild meadow of curls.

She easily outshines the rising moon,

cream colored ruffle skipping

across her cottoned chest.

Our ears are full of Cedar Waxwings,

mosquitos over water,

and the pond is wearing algae

like an old silver mirror.

She and I become a wordless vocalise,

but it is she who breathes the melody.

This child who is unafraid of bones

picked clean by scavengers,

plucks a deer femur from leaf litter

and demurely holds it out to me.

When I was her age

I would have done the same thing.

A camera in hand my eyes dance

her a direction, and without a word

this fledgling nestles her shoulder

against the nearest tree,

a barred owl roosting quietly,

the sunset softening a small red rose

sewn into the collar of her shirt.

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