AT EASE IN THE BORROWED WORLD
Barbara Swift Brauer
This is no solitary walk: they startle into view,
enter by a jay screech, step out
from the hunch of a boulderís shadow.
Of course the dead return these last fine days
when we stride most at ease in the borrowed world.
Today the autumn sky opens with an acornís crack,
and I set out for the ridge, leaning
into the slope, the steady ache of muscle.
Here my fatherís stern patience in a hawkís pivot,
my friendís voice threaded among the wind-shaped branches.
They have come to warm themselves in the late-day sun
and remind us of our promises. Ready to be taken again,
the dead nestle in the nub of a rib,
breathe with our breath, curl in our sleep
against winterís lengthening nights.
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