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By John I. Blair

Fifty years ago
The elms along my street
Defined its space,
Arcing and meeting aloft
Like the vaulting in a nave.

In January the bare trees
Waved great black arms
And groaned in cold winds
Under an icy load
They scarce could hold.

Aprilís bold squirrels
Broke their winter fast
Feasting on sweet elm seeds;
June saw orioles and robins
Nesting in the breezy crowns.

In late October, glancing
Down the middle of the road,
I explored a glorious corridor
Roofed with green-gold leaves,
Glowing like Golconda.

All through the year the sheltering elms
Shaded and graced our lives,
Great guardians ranged in endless rows;
But at the last they could not save
Themselves, nor could we save them.

©2003 John I. Blair

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