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Taylor, Bruce (ed.) / Wisconsin poetry (special issue)
volume 79, No. 2

Smith, Thomas R.
"Thistledown," "Ode to wooden steps," "Olivet," "Snow flying," and "Keeping the star",   pp. 182-188 PDF (954.4 KB)


Page 182

Thomas R. Smith
Thistledown
For the first time after long heat,
the sun floats pale above the oak savanna,
its edges drawn. Now begins the movement
inward, withdrawing its flame from the high places
of summer and striving, to fully inhabit
its depths, its ring of steady warmth.
For it is the warmth, not the fire,
of long-lasting love which endures the burning-
off of years and bodies, stirred in us
now by that autumnal heartbeat. Two crows
fly together, their cries going out before them
to meet the darkening burr oaks on the hill.
Thistledown falls as if from open drawers, fold
upon fold of linens tumbled before the goldenrod.
On its own journey, the sower of thistles
travels with us, a homespun beauty finely feathered.
I lift one to the wind, coppery wings carry it
over fields toward the inward-circling sun.
182


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