I went early into the wetlands
to say my goodbyes to the earth
goodbye to the damselflies,
gray hearts in the sedges,
goodbye to the whip-poor-will
out in the brush,
to the shrubs and the hay,
goodbye to the dappled grass 
and the river drifting by.
I broke off three shafts of light
to pass round in farewell.
The mountain laurel, considering,
said Oh well, it might be soon
in reply. The clovers
and hyssop murmured
Maybe, maybe. The bees gold
and black hungered for milkweed
and goldenrod and the bobolinks
hungered for More, more
I said goodbye to the pitch pine
who said No, no and returned 
a leaf rimmed in light.
By the end it was late
and the sun was glancing 
over the earth as the laurel
whispered a mournful tune
and I dropped away 
beyond the lands.

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