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This poem is taken from PN Review 64, Volume 15 Number 2, November - December 1988.

Two Poems Sujata Bhatt

Yellow October
in memory of Herta Blieffert, 1907-1986

A tree can become like that only in New England's fall,
in Iowa's fall...
Not in Europe's autumn.

This maple made its own light:
clear yellow
as if its sap were singing,
smouldering alert
and preparing itself for something beyond winter.

Of course, I thought it was the moon at first -
but the moon was a sharp bitten-off
punky earring that night.
There were no street lamps
and the wide Iowa houses stayed heavily dark
with their 2:00 a.m. privacy.
So the tree made its own light
...


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