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The Stream that Once Seemed Mythic

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The Stream that Once Seemed Mythic

The stream that once seemed mythic
shimmering about the
saturated green of moss
speaks less clearly now
of delight
or else my spirit’s appetite
has by imperceptible measures
abandoned its audacity
withering toward serenity
as the deer’s corpse
beside the path
seen at first still grey
as the maple’s bark in Winter light
and even later
when all softness had succumbed
the arc of the neck retaining yet
the implication of grace
at last the flesh grown dark
stretched taught upon the bone
and death’s honeyed stench conspired
to eclipse all splendor
now occasionally one may discover
beneath a briar
beside a fallen branch decaying
a rib or tooth
that most callous
within the lissome beast
preserved amidst love’s slow corruption
to be claimed by the curious
and placed beside the shells
and twisted roots
a source of fascination
that once participated
in joy too lithe to grasp

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