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Heartworn happiness, fine line that winds
among the tapestry’s old blacks and blues,
bright hair blazing in the theater,
red hair raving in the bar—as now
the little leaves shoot veils of gold
across the trees’ bones, shroud of spring,
ghost of summer, shadblow snow, blood-
russet spoor spilled prodigal on last year’s leaves . . .
When your yellows, greens, and yellow-greens,
your ochres and your umbers have evolved
nearly to hemlock blackness, cypress blackness,
when the woods are rife with soddenness
(unfolded ferns, skunk cabbage by the stream,
barberry by the trunks, and bitter
watercress inside the druid pool)
will your thin, still-glinting thread insist
to catch the eye in filigreed titrations
stitched along among beneath the branches,
in the branches where it lives all winter,
occulted fire, brief constant fleeting gold . . .


Jonathan Galassi, “Thread” from North Street and Other Poems (New York: HarperCollins, 2001). Copyright © 2001 by Jonathan Galassi. Reprinted with the permission of the author.
Source: North Street and Other Poems (HarperCollins Publishers Inc, 2000)
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