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April 2, 2023


What’s that swimming in your hair,

beneath time, above moon?


Goldfish with calico tails, black moors

ending in pleated fans, tiger barbs


Perhaps autumn leaves—sweetgum’s shaggy

stars, Japanese maple’s lipstick red, beech’s amber.


Or maybe lantana, butterfly weed, Chinese

lantern flowers, marigolds, Blackberry lilies.


Clock hands click, pendulum thumps & throbs, 

grey like a winter twilight marches through 


tresses, & yet the sleeves of your robe 

sit green, sated with finch song & cicada rattle.


What snakes through your hair, 

over time, just under moon?


It leaves kookaburra chuckle, hyena warning

cackle, seagull guffaw, crow mirth


in its wake.



~inspired by Pam Hawkes’ “Autumn

© the author

by t.m. thomson

t.m. thomson is co-author of Frame & Mount the Sky (2017), a chapbook of ekphrastic poetry, as well the author as Strum and Lull (2019) and The Profusion (2019). She is a lover of animals, art, trees, surrealism, black and white movies, walking in autumn rains, feeding wild birds in winter, playing in spring mud, & bat-watching in summer. Her first full-length collection of poems, Plunge, comes out in 2023.

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