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Young Girl Waiting on Fall

She's a fern, she thinks,
in a windless summer day out of days
fanned out like dead fish,
silver scales reflecting down to the bracken.
Chin on knee, knee like warm rock
smells of sea-spray and bones,
a snow of freckles spackle
near the sliver-moon dog-bite scar
and winter-white tendrils trickle down
where shaving is treacherous:
couple of goats scrabbling a mountain
in no man's season she is no man's
woman, neither beginning nor end
but the round, soft middle,
unfurling fiddlehead slow and
boneless as a dream
like a carp plucked clean.

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