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Late Fall

Late Fall

Against the green, a flash of white

like lightning, or a floater. The dogs leap after hare

in winter wear

a breath between hemlocks, mossy

squirrel cone 

scatter, the mushroomed pale

faerie ring. A whiff 

of magic lingers

like snow. They say 

in town, a white raven jostles and croaks 

among glossy black, a herald

in frosted wings. It’s a risk to stand out

against the cadaver colors 

of late Fall

but in truth, every life does. Even now, blanketed

and banked by winter

in a sudden, thorough grip

the vole shoots across drifts

on velvet feet, its body

a burning star

each exhale a puff

of smoke.

*photo: snowshoe hare tracks

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