Talk In A Quiet Place

(to the Scarecrow & Tin Man)

One night after clouds
sprinkled the fire leaves
making them smolder
I and two shadows,
(friends then. . .now poorly written
letters posted too late to be news),
walked through a white cemetery.

Were clean there; twilight
showers often bathed
names on granite-storybooks.

So that bats that hung low
from winged-trees wouldn’t know
which way to swoop,
we chatted about tomorrow’s

Restless birds kept tossing and
turning, recalling triumphs over
worms and bugs — wings aloft —
we ran beneath the blackened

Rippling overhead to the clearing,
its eternity absorbing
the deluge.  Hands still protecting
hair, laughing at our

We walked across the forgotten
as fire leaves danced to the harmony
of my harmonica and the two
shadows singing Christmas

The neighborhood echoed our songs.
Tomorrow’s tomorrow is today and my
long-ago-lost harmonica and poorly
posted letters echo a haunted portent: