poem of the day

by Alan Shapiro

after the downpour, in the early evening,
late sunlight glinting off the raindrops sliding
down the broad backs of the redbud leaves
beside the porch, beyond the railing, each leaf
bending and springing back and bending again
beneath the dripping,
between existences,
ecstatic, the souls grow mischievous, they break ranks,
swerve from the rigid V’s of their migration,
their iron destinies, down to the leaves
they flutter in among, rising and settling,
bodiless, but pretending to have bodies,

their weightlessness more weightless for the ruse,
their freedom freer, their as-ifs nearly not,
until the night falls like an order and
they rise on one vast wing that darkens down
the endless flyways into other bodies.

Nothing will make you less afraid.


before the snow, in the late morning
slow moons dangling above the horizon dipping
behind the red finishes of the antique barns
beside the woods, beyond the fields, each tree
bending and blowing forward and bending again
beneath the dipping,

I am not really fond of the original poem or mine, so I’ll just stop here. I usually like Shapiro’s work, too. I think if I want to write like him, I need to outline the parts of speech and analyze how they work together and go from there.

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