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Home in November

This is our home.
Light through leaves, and walnuts
Splitting underfoot.
Acorns pattering at all hours
From the guardian oak.

Suddenly one morning a sprinkle
Of snow on the mountain shoulder
And on the dogs’ water a bright
Ice-disc trapping a single orange leaf.

The house, silent as a sphinx, sits
Above the busy valley, clear of the mist
That makes of it an island crag.

Our treasures are the rose-hips and the last
Inaccessible apple;
Our sprite the green woodpecker
Laughing from the glades.

Early, we bear the shadow of the hill,
But only slowly the light leaves us.
Then, when our lamps are lit,
We ride the slope, a lightship in the dark.


by Damaris West

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