Nocturne: Near & Far

                   "We try to see in the dark; we toss up 
                   our questions and they catch in the trees."
                                                               ~ Annie Dillard

          After rain, the cotton-heavy breasts of clouds;
the redbud, the hawthorn, the fringe tree.

          I still hear the one that tapped all morning,
insistent in front of a gate that wouldn't move.

          Only the moon pauses, stretches wide 
as a palmful of dough. Unmuffled, the owls begin 

          their two-note chant: who-when? 
who-when? I've long understood how distance  

         is what makes the faraway conspicuous, 
the near at hand swizzle into a kind of silence.


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