In the Rush
by Michelle Tooker

In fall’s gold rush I see ghosts.

Sometimes they are distant
versions of myself—
I recognize their sway—
but mostly they are men
in flannel shirts and brown boots,
white-washed jeans torn at the knees.
They leer like alligators
at birds on a perch,
rustle through branch cages
and pine needles, disappear
into the glow.
Some nights they are real.

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