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by Lucille Lang Day

I don't miss them this autumn
as the lawn disappears again
beneath liquidambar leaves
scattered carelessly on the ground
like scraps of red and yellow leather.

No, I don't yearn for the lovers
who woke me at night
with snoring or sudden need,
and I don't miss them in the morning
either--talk over coffee,
the shared front page, pungent
perspiration on my sheets.

The one I miss is the girl, not
so much the taut, tan legs
that carried her over mountains
and down lupine-covered cliffs to the sea,
or the gold and copper threads gleaming
in her hair, but her certainty
that the race would be to the swift,
that wherever she sat,
love would take the next seat.

She disappeared gradually,
the way a tree is denuded in fall
or morning fog burns off
well before midday. She slipped away,
leaving me alone in the harsh
afternoon glare, to put on dark glasses
and laugh when she'd weep.


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