by Rebecca Balcarcel

    All night, wind shook the house,
    tore at shutters,
    spun the windchimes whose
    rods knocked against the eaves.
    Inside, walls creaked,
    the chimney moaned, and
    she moaned between dreams,
    woke twice in the wee hours,
    lay for long minutes
    staring into dark.

    By morning,
    the wind had wandered on,
    leaving debris about the yard,
    bags and newspaper banked against the fence.

    Eating breakfast slowly
    in the living room --
    dried peaches out of a tin --
    she sees the oak still clutching its leaves,
    and across the yard, an elm
    naked in a circle of brown and gold
    as if every leaf had dropped at once
    from fright
    or the tree had opened all its hands together
    and let them go.

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