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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.