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We always called maple seeds whirlybirds,
just as we always did so many things, as children.
We liked them best when they were yellow—

when tossed alone, in twos, or even bunches—
they came swirling down.  Too green,
they fell with a plop.  Too brown too thin to fly,

or they fell apart, exposing their spider veins
like the vertical strings on a badminton racket.
If we had rain: mush, beside the welcome mat.

But this morning, sailing swiftly by my window,
catching the light—white and lovely—
landing in a driveway crack

or in gutters in the fertile loam that once was
maple leaves, there those ’copters from the sky—
unshaken in purpose—became a circle of trees.

first published in TMP Irregular

April 2008
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