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  • That time of year it is when leaves have turned
    and lost their grip on limbs, blown down
    an inch deep and brown, covering the bones
    of kindling, hidden paths, the season’s varied dead.
    The waters set in spiking weeds assert
    their true nature as precious stones, amber and jade,
    bidding the deer approach for one more drink
    before the ice encroaches. Everywhere
    the acorn stores of busy, slender, panicked squirrels.
    Could this really be winter coming on,
    with the sun this bright at noon, the sky this blue?
    See what happens in the slant of five o’clock:
    the trees, stripped naked, reveal their strength;
    the wind bares its teeth and the lake shivers.
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