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The wind off the Blue Ridge    

reached his hands into every pocket,

waved the shining trees' bare limbs.


Somehow the starlings rose above

the hills, the flocking weaving a shawl

that warped in the wind.


The cows walked two-by-two

toward the south pasture, the herd heading

for the sheltered place below the hill's crest.


Daddy said, "Can't you do a damn thing right?

Say!" I ran to close a gate,

but more than his words, I feared


his silence. My head ached between 

the eyes, and, walking to the house, I thought

Lord, save us from the cold. . .


But, facing the old god, I felt hope 

snuffed out, as if my every prayer

were a paper match in the wind.



        --John Thomas York

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