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  • Writer's pictureIan McCluskey


What fades the cedar boards grey?

Is it the August sun or more the winter

fog that comes to settle, and stay

and draw up tannins?

Why too does our skin deepen in spots

burnt umber and flecks of black

and pull into lines and crack like bones

of wood grain?

Why do mountain peaks also whittle

this way, crumbling off scree,

flattening flakes of slate,

leaving vertebrae of ridgelines?

It is hard to see an old man wearing

pants that no longer fit.

It is hard to see a window missing

a pane of glass.

It is hard to find a key in a drawer

and know it will never find its lock again.

It is hard to hold your hand and rub

the knuckle and rub my knuckle

and know this too will be just dust.

For August will crack us dry

and winter set in, snug up its fog

watch us like water ripple grey and

silver, grey and silver.

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