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He heard the far, crashing sounds
of squirrels making long leaps
through the leaves from trunk to trunk.
The persimmon tree stood now
stripped of fruit -- the strong, thin twigs
stayed bent. The road left the woods
and turned, to follow the edge
of a bluff that overlooked
the farmer's bottom-land fi eld --
light streaming through the ripe crop
made it buckskin-colored now.
A creek ran past the far edge
of the fi eld, big sycamores
on the near bank caught the light.
The far bank, though, steep and dark,
dense with trees and undergrowth,
looked cold, dank, in its deep shade.
A breeze came up as he watched.
He heard the rattle and rasp
of the dry, sharp-edged, stiff leaves
of the corn. He walked on down
watching for any movement
that was not caused by the breeze,
went past the head of the fi eld
to the creek. The breeze died down.
He'd seen crows, but no squirrels
except one pair that vanished,
high in an old sycamore.