A Russian Farmer Coming Upon German Paratroopers

They jump in darkness, silhouettes against
a canopy of clouds lit from behind,
as if the moon could be restrained, a light
of reticence—a word implied instead
of spoken.  As the farmer walks the fence
line of his property, his wolfhound whines
and paws the ground, then draws in close beside
the farmer, lifts its snout to catch a scent.
The chutes descend, small tremors running through
them as the wind shifts slightly—ripples on
the surface of a pond, or like the course
of veins along the backside of a hand.
The ground draws up.  On earth, each man shakes loose
the harness like a dog, sheds silk like skin.

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