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Ten Degrees by Tom Chandler

It’s my mother’s birthday today, one of those events I always dread. Too many histories, too many explanations, too many pasts. Hardly fitting for this page. And since I’m still on a Chandler high, here, another poem. What could be more apt?

Ten Degrees
Tom Chandler

How beautiful the sun as it skims
across the air in the hush of ten degrees,
disc of palest yellow hope along a sky

of circumstance; how beautifully we watch it fall,
the random tern, forgotten mole,
the infant tree inside rough winter bark.

How beautiful this frost, female fingers
tracing down the glass, how beautiful
this world too cold to criticize itself;

how beautiful Earth’s creatures are, happy
and forever safe from the only perfect tragedy,
which is of course to never have been born.

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