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An oak twig drops
in the path as we climb
the slippery needled
slope from the pond: nine

flame-shaped leaves,
glossy, with yellow-
green sinews veering
out from red spines;

under the leaves, two
acorns depart
from woody cups:
shiny, metallic,

verdant, as acorn-
meat presses from
inside out, volume
thrusting to smooth

the tumid surface
of tiny mast-woman
breasts, nipple-
points centering pale

aureoles. We climb
slowly, carrying
a wicker basket up
the slippery path.

-Donald Hall