Commencers

A long rake will be needed
to shake those black
mortarboards from the elm branches.
A shorter one to tear
the dresses from their grips.
They climb up, out, and away
with so much care.
Still, the cellar door—
that beautiful cellar door—
gets slammed shut
with brute force.
Hip bones click
before they creak.
It rains, then hails,
then they must step
to the side
to remove cold stones
from their shoes.

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