he sits mesmerized by the maple
     tree across the street — brilliant
          orange, yellow, red leaves still
in the windless air like a painting
     by an impressionist. he can al-
          most hear the notes emanating
from the trunk like a pavane
     for a dead princess. soon the
          leaves will twist in the wind and
sleet will slap the tree branches
     until they give up the leaves for
          the winter just around the corner,
but for the moment, the leaves
     sit in the stillness and splender
          that come with wisdom.


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