The hope a mooncalf follows
is sacrifice for slaughter,
and yet the wings of swallows
still skip across the water. 

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Grey Oak

I turn the stony corner
where the graveyard begins.
Today I am a mourner.
Crows circle garbage bins
beyond the iron gate;
two magpies poach hairpins;
a sparrow comes too late,
then flees the treasure chest.
I move on, and I wait.
It is here she will rest
beneath the silt and sand,
her headstone facing west.
And still, I can’t withstand
the power of my grief.
A tree can’t understand
the falling of its leaf.
first published in The Chimaera, Autumn 2007
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© by Leo Yankevich