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Wolf Moon
[Portage, January 30, 2010]

We dance all night
Watching the rising
wolf moonlight,
Summoning courage,
Denying fright.
Much as we would like,
We cannot wish winter away;
Think of a baseball game,
27 at-bats per team, the rule
unbending. We all must wait until
the fat lady sings. 
Sparkle-arkles from night snow
Twinkle clear as Colombian blow
While whitetails float
Through the quakey maquis
Toward raddled oak grounds
To scrape for buried treasure,
There paws breaking the crust
Casting sound. 
Closer to us, gaunt winter rabbits
Locomoting saltatorially,
Push snow with nose plows,
And foolish possums venture out
To find their tails frostbitten,
Hiss displeasure mixed with angst. 
We suss no vernal hints.
This land is hard and fast,
Winter holding tight as
Herb Score holding down
For a fastball.
We hope only for louring skies
And warm-ups forfending
Deep late snowfalls, what
Grinning boobtubedudes
Proclaim “events,” to make
Their work  seem provident. 
Here in January we are
Cocooned in emotional buckthorn,
Neither here, nor there,
Suspended like the dead
At Wipers in black and white stills
Even the smell of death
Evaporates until the thaw. 
At night our maples scrape
Like flensed bones, reedless clarinets,
Played by rank amateurs,
Sighing like nuns’ prayers
A mélange of ardor
And pollarded libidos.
At Azteka, Carlosito
Dutifully squeegees windows.
It is seven degrees.
No one suggests this a lucky number,
In English or in Espanol. 
We drink strong black coffee in silence
Study Mexican phone cards,
Smell the pastries baking through the
Red, white, and green curtain
In the floury outback where even
Carlos may not venture. 
Next door we buy bags of spices
At one fifth the price of regular stores
And five-ex the amount.
Remembering last night,
Watching the rising wolf moonlight.

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