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This poem is taken from PN Review 245, Volume 45 Number 3, January - February 2019.

Poems from ‘God of Corn’ David Troupes
Each poem begins with a title or passage from Josiah Gilbert Holland’s 1855 book, A History of Western Massachusetts.

The Weather Was Extremely Cold

Enough now for a month. And the sun has gone down.
I suppose there’s something of the sun
in the wood stacks, and
of June, and our new boy.
I suppose this winter forest
is thrown like a shadow. But I do feel
when the sun goes down
there is a moment, like a quick holler
and no echo,
when time stops, lifts away, if you understand.
And I can set down my ax
and raise my hands a little,
say each six inches from my side, and there is light
despite the sun having gone,
and my arms float free of the weight of my shirt,
and my feet
find the comfortable centers
of my boots. The wind no longer arrives, it is a cold
breathing of the earth.

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