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From ‘Portions’

Six years you may sow your field and six years may you prune your vineyard


When we came in August, there were roses —

budding, half opened, in bloom —

and some we had missed in their glory.

Their histories lost to us. The future is ours,

and so I took up orange-handled shears,

and all morning I severed and severed.

Whatever knotted shape the canes took

I cut away, with the small red buds

that would have been new growth.

Now, above each bush, a sphere of air.

May I be spared to cut again,

sever one future, shape another.


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