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Early February on the Eel 

Suddenly, the leaves are all gone.
The storms gave ample notice:

The alders will now paint the day's luster,
On a rare afternoon, posing
As a cruel cheat of Autumn,
Dripping spoonfuls of honey,
Across the big bends of a fresh river.

Evenings are still two months out.

Here, morning's curfew still remains
As some lame excuse for the wind
Spoiling the silty corners
After the flood.

The easy drips from mossy rocks,
The rare percussion:
The work of silent, green water.

I'm trying so desperately
To soak this winter into my bones,
As the water draws lines,
And curves,
And the circles hide things.

I know the kids still lean over the bridge,
Into the green water mystery,
Waiting to see the ghosts
Brushing against the emerald velvet
Of winter's passing.

Sam A. Flanagan

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Sam A. Flanagan

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