December 8, 1980 | Creative Writing | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

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December 8, 1980

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In memory of John Lennon

Ice on the trees like diamonds

breaks them, some of them,

usually the weakest

but now and then one

that, reaching maturity, is just at the stage

when all sorts of shapes are possible.

When the causes of those shapes,

like storms or overgrowth of other trees that fall,

are so quickly gone, so ill-perceived and unremembered,

the surviving tree bears witness:

beauty grows from adversity

and is sustained by luck.

Knowing the chancy nature of things we look for meaning

when the expression or utterance

of their being is all we can humanly do

or groan or yell or make a song

whose voice is one person

brought down and hushed in the snow.

"December 8, 1980" originally appeared in Just Worlds (Ithaca House Books).

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