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away from the road 29
He'd seen crows, but no squirrels
except one pair that vanished,
high in an old sycamore.
He sat under that same tree,
on the stream-bank, his feet
dangling. He could hear water
going past slowly, hidden
under leaves, among the stones.
A clear, crescent-shaped pool lay
along the bank, just upstream.
The bank there was undercut.
The massive trunk of the tree
let down a tangle of roots
over the pool. The water,
motionless, mirrored the roots.
Leaves on the pale bottom-stones
lay draped, their colors still fresh.
For those few moments the place
had magical properties.
This stayed clear and fresh, for him,
from then on -- the time of day,
and the season, did their part
no doubt, and that cold, dank slope,
and the bright fi eld at his back.
The air stayed quiet. The day
would soon be cooling, a slow
fl ow of air would wind downstream,
its chill seep into the folds
of his clothes; but this air still
was mild. As he watched, the light
weakened on the chalky-white