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I remember long afternoons
of peach language
when the honey-crush
of goldenrod collided
with the white song of gulls
and we sat motionless
on a riverbank
where thick ribbons of sunlight
weaved our daydreams
across the water
my mother's aunts quiet as the cotton
in their summer shifts
dangled their feet in the sullen river
until the ripples danced in circles of light
and made the water sing
their stories lately remembered
hung in the air like specters
caught between two worlds
we could only imagine
how the sea would delight in them
last night under a whirl of stars
a deer came to our back yard
having forgotten innocence
and every morning the urgent sky
presses its questions against our flesh
what if the earth can't survive?
what if August is everything?
Margaret Cusack will read from her work at 7 tonight at Borders Books, 2015 Walden Ave., Cheektowaga.

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