Sweet Olive and Her Outlaw Wind

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Is it just my sweet olive,
Or is yours, too,
Perfuming the winds
That ride leaf-back
Over the smilaxed fence,
Onto the back porch,
Where we hold cups and talk?
There she breathes into our casual circle
Her bewitchery: the memory
Of Louisiana in autumn,
Of gold and green and brown and gray,
Of chill and woodsmoke,
Secret hiding places, long vesper views
Down blue alleys of pine and oak,
Splinter of the dying season underfoot,
Deep breaths,
Flannel, winter coming.
And I forget what I was saying.

All that evocative power in
Spindly, amber beads
That fall apart when I harvest,
And withhold their glory
When I get too close;
Sweet Olive, that minx,
Gives essentially,
Prodigally to an outlaw wind.

 

 

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