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BRUCHAC, Joseph



Birdfoot’s Grampa


The old man

must have stopped our car

two dozen times to climb out

and gather into his hands

the small toads blinded

by our lights and leaping,

live drops of rain.


The rain was falling,

a mist about his white hair

and I kept saying

you can't save them all

accept it, get back in

we've got places to go.


But, leathery hands full

of wet brown life

knee deep in the summer

roadside grass

he just smiled and said

they have place to go

too.



Wind in the Pines


So soft at first,

just the hint

of sighing

then, as the boughs

and the long soft needles,

lend it a voice,

and the ripples

spread

across the pond,

the wind starts to sing.


The pines quiver and bend,

moved by that long breath

that has flowed down the valleys,

lifted over the hills,

whistling, whispering

a chorus that fills

the air round us

as the whole forest

bows and dances.