Winnowing

A fat black nose, followed by my hound,
snuffles through a color guard of windrows.

Perfumed with late cold rain, wormless dirt,
early autumn dark, the piles of leaves seem

like daily journals, crumpled and cast aside
by pin oaks and sweet gum – discarded work:

all those poems that were lacking any point.

The trees pose naked in un-consciousness.

Their roots bind them tight to hard ground,
barkened arms are pulled up by cutting wind;

crucified between here and there, they hold
heaven and earth balanced in place. Words

fall beneath their crowns like winter-broken
limbs but their rough skin sings in my hands.

P. H. Coleman graduated a fine art BA, sold shoes and ad copy, and taught chemistry at university and high school for years. Though a PMY, he still has things to say, and has done so in obscure publications in Vermont and Missouri. He is at present safely woven into the Vermont hills with three dogs who tell him what to write.

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