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A Buttermilk Creek

The crow on a bridge railing
in this city park presides
over Autumn.
Knife-carved letters
are hieroglyphs beneath
his deliberate feet.
He gathers wordless promises.
Winter is coming, he knows.
The heat from the sun
is waning, light slants
to soft.
Woodsmoke signals
are borne by breezes.
Acornfall taps a code
of warning.
Trees drop dry leaves
like quiet notes
into the shy creek
that will pass them on
to bigger waters.
Winter comes, they say.
He turns his head, this sentinel
crow, to watch a caret
of vehement geese
point itself away
from here.
I turn for home
mindful of the word
of winter’s coming.

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