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The Bather

 Where the path to the lake twists out of sight,
A puff of dust, the kind bare feet make running,
Is what I saw in the dying light,
Night swooping down everywhere else.
A low branch heavy with leaves Swaying momentarily where the shade Lay thickest, some late bather Disrobing right there for a quick dip-- (Or my solitude playing a trick on me?) Pinned hair coming undone, soon to float As she turns on her back, letting The dozy current take her as it wishes Beyond the last drooping branch To where the sky opens Black as the water under her white arms, In the deepening night, deepening hush, The treetops like charred paper edges, Even the insects oddly reclusive While I strained to hear a splash, Or glimpse her running back to her clothes .
And when I did not; I just sat there.
The rare rush of wind in the leaves Still fooling me now and then, Until the chill made me go in.

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