Hard Frost

by Sally Zaino

The morning after the first hard frost
my husband called me outside
to watch the hackberry leaves fall.
We listened to the rhythm of their landings,
pack-tick-pack, until the branches were exposed
and the sky was given back to winter.
On the far side of the hedgerow was another,
and another at the end, but we couldn’t be
at all three shows at once.
It was a day of unity for hackberries;
the day they bared their souls,
or was it their soul,
confessing their summer adventures
in sudden elliptical carpets
to the ground around their trunks. 

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