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Words Frequently Confused: Acclimate, Acculturate
Each spring the weight of leaves
hangs negligible, airy portent
for the thin timorous trees
that speak a language its taken
so long to learn
grace would not redeem its loss.
Say emoji, and you’ll hear
what I mean: each syllable
its own articulate tool, each
with a singular design,
similar to the way
there are saws for pruning and
saws for the precise amputation
of soldiers’ bones. Given
the choice, who would not prefer
a more subtle touch:
gauzy fog the bats will ignore
or rain so fine the last white oak
in the meadow hardly trembles,
if only in a figurative sense.
Phillip Sterling’s books include two poetry collections (And Then Snow, Mutual Shores), two collections of short fiction (In Which Brief Stories Are Told, Amateur Husbandry), and four chapbook-length series of poems. A fifth series, Short on Days, will be released from Main Street Rag in Spring 2020. New poems have appeared recently in 2River View, Dunes Review, Walloon Writers Review, and Poet Lore.