Carol Hamilton 
Their voices dapple down,
autumn leaves
bright and predictable,
pleasant even if they
signal endings.
The river is swollen,
color of British "white coffee."
A tree hurries past
like the words.
It cannot stop.
Across the water,
a red folding chair
of slats has its legs
implanted in mud
beneath the swirls.
Someone sat there
on another day. Up the hill
from the chair, sunlight
is on the white picnic table.
A piebald cat soaks sun
on the rocks on my side
of the river, rubs the warmth
into my back as he twists
his tail over my hair.
The bluffs, too, watch
the passing, erode in empathy.

Carol Hamilton was Poet Laureate of Oklahoma 1995-1997 and received the Oklahoma Book Award for her chapbook of poetry, "Once The Dust." A three time Pushcart nominee, her most recent books include "Breaking Bread, Breaking Silence," (Winner of the Chiron Chapbook Award); "Gold: Greatest Hits" (Pudding House Press); "I, People of the Llano" (Good SAMARitan Press) and a children's novel, "I'm Not From Neptune."



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