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Poetry

>INGATHERING

By Susan Dworski Nusbaum

I'm standing very still with Matthew, just turned four,

watching loose bits of summer hurry past the window.

Through the filter of sun-shades, the lake seems nervous,

waves overlapping like iridescent scales of a giant fish,

as hot winds herd tiny sailboats across the chop, pushing

clouds and a flurry of gulls with sun-lit bellies near the shore,

and Canada geese point their arrows south, nudging purple

martins from pole to branch, current to current and out of sight.

Sifting through the open sash -- a sudden dryness, the smell

of burning -- pollen dusts the table with an ochre film,

not a scattering, but an orderly flow from one edge of the glass
to the other, propelled by an imperceptible turn of the globe,
a subtle shift of light, scarcely time enough for us to contemplate
the deepening grays and golds moving over the hills, or measure
the slant of shadows skimming the water before they're swept
behind the evergreens and disappear beyond the window frame.
Matthew presses his palm and cheek against the pane,
craning his neck for a better view and asks, Where's everything going?
I mumble something about the power of oceans, the pull
of the moon, grateful for the gift of not knowing.

SUSAN DWORSKI NUSBAUM will be one of two featured readers at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday at Hallwalls Cinema, 341 Delaware Ave. (near Tupper) as Earth's Daughter's magazine opens its third season of The Gray Hair Series.

***

>DAYS OF AWE

By Susan Dworski Nusbaum

The gift of litter calls me
as summer sweeps to autumn
on my porch, strewn with twigs
and shriveled pods of spring,
tissue-pale spinners,
potato bugs startled in mud
beneath abandoned pots.
These are the days
to burn the weed-patch,
limbs and thorns,
and bring surviving plants inside,
to fill the bins with sins of summer,
popsicle sticks and wine corks,
crumpled napkins, soaked with rain,
or tears, and take a breath,
to study in a dusty mound
of clippings, a shard of vivid orange,
a tiny beak connected to a skull,
vertebrae strung like beads,
on an S-curved wisp of spine,
lender pendant limbs with crescent finials,
brittle pin-quills fanning into plumes,
till soft and brown,
and take a breath, another,
to praise what was and almost was --
the glittering strand of flame-bright days --
then bury the remains outside the gate,
cracked one last time
before the numbing freeze,
and close the latch.

SUSAN DWORSKI NUSBAUM will be one of two featured readers at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday at Hallwalls Cinema, 341 Delaware Ave. (near Tupper) as Earth's Daughter's magazine opens its third season of The Gray Hair Series.

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