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Thursday, June 24, 2004 02:23 am

People's poetry 6-24-04

Old Elms

A few old elms may here and there be seen
Even today. Their long legato limbs
Lift up and offer summer gifts of green.
In fall, soft gold. In winter sometimes hymns
When winds through branches' filigrees

might sing.
A freezing mist may cast crazed crystal chimes.
Should a chartreuse haze appear aloft,
it's spring.
The old man loves the elms, remembering times
When streets were Gothic aisles
all through his town.
He'd find translucent locust cases wedged
In crevices of bark, the locusts flown.
The elm's thick bark so roughly creased
and ridged...
He fears that all the elms may die from blight.
Their grace is not enough to temper fright.

-- Ben Bohnhorst

Ben Bohnhorst grew up in Springfield, and now resides in Michigan. This is one of three poems he wrote about his hometown included in A Service on the Sufficiency of Feeding Finches, published by Ridgeway Press. He is the son of Wilbur "Pete" Bohnhorst, who is featured in this week's "History Talk" column.

People's Poetry accepts poems on any subject, but ones that deal with issues of local interest are encouraged. Send yours to Books and Poetry Editor Corrine Frisch c/o Illinois Times, P.O. Box 5256, Springfield, IL 62705, or to cfrisch@illinoistimes.com with "People's Poetry" in the subject line.

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