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Limits to the Salutary Effects of Upper-Midwestern Melancholy

Windbreak, West Michigan

 

For warmth against

the cold dress

in layers - memory

 

of first lover

over wool, over

flannel the fur

 

of field mice

nesting your basement.

Then something to

 

cut the wind -

nylon, Jäger, or

line of arborvitae.

 

In the spring

they'll find you

leaning east, bent

 

but unbroken, rising

from this glacier-scoured

landscape that has

 

you by the roots.

 

Homestead of my grandparents, Celeste and Maynard Dutcher, near Caledonia, Michigan, 1912.