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The Orchard

by B. Z. Niditch

The once snowy garden
hides the peasant bread
for another season.

Aunt Manya rehearses Chekhov
in a Russian overcoat
with her parched mouth
for the traveling company
outside a rented dacha.

She does not fuss about
in the minstrel wind
with a balalaika melody
before the performance.

She dons a long shawl
and tinsel hat
tinged by bird feathers
now dotted with white flakes.

Her solo voice emerges
in a cold, liquid expression
from her brave face
against the elements
when sunshine pokes out
for a brief act
in a visionary breeze.

Silence travels slowly here
in orchards of speech.
Nature waits on white-coated leaves,
breathless in landscapes
housed with a seasonal epiphany,
catching us as we speak,
disarming memories
and transforming all words
when scenes, characters and costumes
change on the lighted stage
near the garden walls.

An adolescent poet lights candles
to surround the darkness.

Copyright © 2013 by B. Z. Niditch

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