Friday, September 23, 2016

#Fridayreads: A Poem by Grace Paley

Autumn

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What is sometimes called a   
   tongue of flame 
or an arm extended burning   
   is only the long 
red and orange branch of   
   a green maple 
in early September   reaching 
   into the greenest field 
out of the green woods   at the 
   edge of which the birch trees   
appear a little tattered   tired 
   of sustaining delicacy 
all through the hot summer   re- 
   minding everyone (in   
our family) of a Russian 
   song   a story 
by Chekhov   or my father 



What is sometimes called a   
   tongue of flame 
or an arm extended   burning 
   is only the long 
red and orange branch of 
   a green maple 
in early September   reaching   
   into the greenest field 
out of the green woods   at the   
   edge of which the birch trees 
appear a little tattered   tired 
   of sustaining delicacy 
all through the hot summer   re- 
   minding everyone (in   
our family) of a Russian 
   song   a story by 
Chekhov or my father on 
   his own lawn   standing   
beside his own wood in 
   the United States of   
America   saying (in Russian) 
   this birch is a lovely 
tree   but among the others 
   somehow superficial 

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