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Dialogue

It is powerful, she said.
What, he asked.
The dark night that is to come.
She looked up to see his smile.
The moon lit that up too.

Twilight
and as the tree's bark fell
the moon resisting the clouds
shone upon it.
The silence muffled the throats of the sleeping birds
but the ants were busy
making their nests making their nests.

It is strange, she said.
What, he asked.
The light of the moon on your lips.

He turned to respond.
The moon's light had shadowed her
Or, at least, she had simply left.
Twilight, he thought,
or no, the darkness of night.

In the mountains
there is another wind.
A cold wind.
The feathers will not be carried in that air;
they will freeze on the dead birds.

On the tree
the branches are still.
There is no wind.
The summer heat curdles the dead bark.
The snake easily finds its way.

Perhaps there is a path out of the forest, he said.
Yes, but will we find it, she asked.
Of course we will, he said.
She was about to demur
but stopped.
There was a raw croaking sound.
She turned to him in fear.
It is only a frog, he said.
Ah, she said, we are not alone.

There are berries in the basket.
Five ripe red berries.
Ready to eat ready to eat.
She stooped to pick one up.
Don't touch them, he ordered.
Why not, she asked, I'm hungry.
They are poison, he said,
and he laughed.

I will wear a crown
and play the queen.
And you will be the throne on which I sit.
You will be still, won't you, she asked,
when you play your role?

It is all very dismal, he said.
The curtains are drab; the whole stage set is wrong.
But what about the play?  The words are lovely, she said.

It is all a joke, and not very amusing.
It was written for you, she said.
And who did the sets?
I did, she said.

*****

From My, Haven't the Flowers Been? Poems by Harriet Zinnes (Magic Circle Press, l995), pp. 100-102.

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