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The gleaning done, the ashen pods and vines,
just twitch and rattle with what’s left behind.
The purple stubble on the fields below
erasing now with patches of first snow.
Cornstalks turn ghostly. Wagon, barn and rake
give up their shapes, and the new shapes they take
no longer presage any human thing.
The wilderness recalls her underling.
We need the strength of all we can endure,
to grant what earth gives up and make it sure.
The twining and the gathering is the easy part
for now the rind is ripe and heavy like the heart.
The liquid light that poured into our flesh
must take us through the night of cold and emptiness
when colors of the world fade into one.
The web of branches stretches till it’s gone.
- Monica Raymond (used with permission)