Autumn Sketch

between two sharp chest ribs
      of an isolated birch skeleton
            dusk-dyed and wind-carved
      hung still on an invisible wall
comes to perch an ageing crow
      whose bold beak holds a cold
            and pale prophesy old
      with all withered leaves palette-cut
blowing towards gates and doors
      like the fliers sent randomly
            from an alien chain store

Changming Yuan, author of Chansons of a Chinaman (2009), is a two-time Pushcart nominee who grew up in a remote Chinese village and published several books before moving to Canada. Currently Yuan works in Vancouver and has had poems appearing in Barrow Street, Best Canadian Poetry, London Magazine, nthposition and more than 300 other literary publications in 15 countries.

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