for Sandy Parker
A tree by the roadside suddenly
dropped every leaf, shock
of orange twisting, settling.
It was a blessing, Sandy says.
Her radiation starts tomorrow
now that her breast has almost
healed. I slow my walk,
touch wet trees, check
their terminal buds. They rest
now, waiting for spring.
Last night I read that some buds
are naked, some protected
by stiff little scales. A pair
of scales looks like a miniature
hot dog bun or (some people
think) praying hands. I’ve never
noticed their hopeful compactness.
The sun glows through fog
and suddenly brightens—too
dazzling to see. Venus will rise
to the left of the moon tonight.
Clouds will hide it. But it will rise,
a planet like a squashed beach ball
rotating backwards but catching the light.
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