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Cellar Doors


In winter they were a ramp of snow
That heightened the hill and made
Our sledding more thrilling. In spring
The green rain ran down the grooves
In the wood, pooled and fueled tulips.
In autumn the doors burned with leaves.
Only in summer did we fling them open
To descend into the cellar, seeking shelter
From storms that always missed us. It was then
The unfortunate fact dawned on me that
If the nuclear power plant down in Byron
Ever blew, they'd fail to keep the secret
Of our deaths from us. Still, I took comfort
In the way they lay one upon the other
Like the hands of a girl in church, or like
The only two books the poet wrote, on display
At his funeral, arranged in such a way that
The one on top doesn't obscure the title
Of the collection he started writing
After he learned he was dying.
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