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The Ghost of All Hallows' Eve

by Margaret Pettis

Your visit to our garden-
dripping in the promised snow
of a late October night-
drove chickadees to chagrin
and, squawking in the sage,
magpies to madness. By luck,
we discovered you, nothing short
of a miracle on Samhain's wet eve.
In day's demise and pearl tears
strung on cottonwood stems,
you found shelter
in a lattice of leaves,
clinging to what release
you sensed the dark would bring.
We fretted you would cease
to fly, to snip moths
from a graying sky,
and slip away, succumb
to a shattering wound.
Sated with mouse meat,
you were but grounded by weight
of bone and fur until fawn wings
could lift their host, a downy
figurine at most. My palm
longed to cup you, gentle ghost,
if ever your fierce beak
would suffer my faux pas.
We need not have worried so.
When midnight's veil had parted,
and souls of this green world
kenned the ones beyond,
a bright plumage of stars
lighted your way
to other rainy holds.


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