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-NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER-
LINDA H.Y. HEGLAND
Cecilia Lamont Poetry Competition (3rd Prize)
If I were a leaf trembling and about to fall,
and you were the ground beneath,
I would waft, pleasingly
tempting, the wind catching and lofting me,
shuddering me, allowing me to dance
and tease you.
If you were the ground beneath
you would wait patiently,
soil pliant and waiting;
when finally we touched
you would hold me lightly upon yourself,
hold me as my foliage dress disintegrated,
‘til my leaf-bones lay exposed and fragile.
Hold me until even those fragile bits
became as nothing,
and I became no more a whispering and clattering
but a part of you, ground,
brown and fetid, moist and rotted,
bearer of life and seed.
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