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With gratitude for your Rilke reflections, this poem.

November Is the Name
for Neighbor

Tuesday when I wake up
I’ll walk to my town hall
to make our country again.

November is a party’s
weather. Isn’t a leaf a vote,
the wind winding down its

burnt campaign? There’s more
than enough to complain about,
set right, with one vote.

Memory is a way to remember.
And stopping, before I ballot,
to see the crushed bird, that barred

owl—that one vote—wings’
splayed, cast on the paved road.
Isn’t it fair to say a feather is more

than a feather when it meets
my eye. Say aye here, if you want
to be remembered. If you want

to see what’s here. Because
of what we’ve made of the weather.
Because of the party the wind makes

when it calls us together,
by the side of the road. Say
when we cross paths again,

checking ourselves off the checklist.
Say when November is the name
for neighbor.

Gary Margolis
Middlebury, VT