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Paper Poems

The paper poems I hung in the tree
outside my window the other day
are acting like paper birds in flight
this afternoon. A fierce santa ana
devil wind is knocking them about. They
kick up their heels and try to escape
but are brought back sharp by the little
wire hooks I used to restrain them.
The poems actively decorate the tree,
the yard. One says, "Hello, leaves."
Another, my favorite: "Move over, wind,
I'm coming in." And one in big, block
letters, "OM." But all are shouting
the same news this afternoon that
none and noone is very free:
Even words dance on the end of a line,
even poems come to an end and stop.
And OM is wind in the weather of wind.



Richard E. Lee
1980