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the great sections of the trunks
and limbs like fallen big game
in Africa -- great females
slain and strewn about -- but what
is this but an incident
I drove past the summer day
they fell in a solid world.
Underneath the tree, grasses --
bluestem, wild rye. A kind of
sharp-edged grass bends evenly,
as if combed, over the bank
of the ditch, trailing its tips
in the brown water. Woodbine,
planted by a bird dropping,
doubtless, grows here -- it would come
from an old vine in the yard,
set out by some grandparent.
It is fl ourishing in here.
A pretty place. The milkweed
is blooming -- clusters of dull
or dead pink fl owers, spikey
petals set on a fl esh-like
protrusion, a hole
opening in the center
shaped like a fi ve-pointed star;
the sweet odor's attracting
not only bees but ants -- large
black ants with legs that raise them
high off the ground. On the road,
close, cars pass. In the grass lie
small branches shed by the tree;
the bark on some has loosened
and come off with the passage