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This is the season of dried rushes
and sodden leaf-matter in parks,
when the lightly furred animal bodies
of the people break out in sores

and a mild but insistent contagion
blooms in the chilly dampness.
The lowered sun does not yet warm them,
despite cerulean skies.

The meat-headed race trundles along
in groups, God love them, and their
comforts—blood ties and a stiff Scotch—
suffice somewhat or else not at all.

From a far country comes news
of the current crisis, about which little
is known. Its distant horrors
are rehearsed for a few still listening.

A woman in a shop says, “Maybe
tomorrow,” and the eyes of the burghers
streaming across midtown intersections
brighten a moment, then dim.

Others flee on vacation
to a place where they might clear their minds
and hatch a few plans for the future, while
waiting for the weather to improve.

The Image archive is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts.

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