The magnolia and the eclipse

The school sent a note saying
the children will stay inside
during the solar eclipse.
Reading between the lines
their retinas will not be in danger.
It’s raining; the rare obscuring is obscured,
yet the light has a strange quality
as though some other lines
have been lifted from the spectrum.
Despite the partial sun
everyone carries on with their day,
withdrawing cash from ATMs,
pushing their bodies over zebra crossings,
and avoiding each other’s umbrellas
though one or two notice the magnolia
on the cusp of anthesis,
its buds pale and changeable as moons.
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