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To The Elusive White Birches
by Lorraine Healy

Between Tumwater Canyon
and a ghost town I look

for them. I want them
wet with drizzle,

soaked in fog,
their leaves already sun enough.

The paper peeling off
their icy bark.

I chase them,
ask them to be surrounded

by other trees
and gold.

I call out to them
and not one answer,

those birch bastards.

Their trunks of clouds
and chalk.

I ask them
to stay still

and they open their branches
to the uncharitable wind.


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