Under the old redbud in the boulevard,
sound umbrellas our heads, lifted as to thunder.
Near oh near, they cry above us, and together,
though deaf in their midst, we speak the names
we have learned in lives brief and long. Cicada,
says my granddaughter, given by her mother.

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Linda Parsons is an editor at the University of Tennessee and the author of three poetry collections, most recently, Bound. Her work has appeared in journals such as The Georgia Review, Iowa Review, Southern Poetry Review, and Shenandoah; Ted Kooser’s syndicated column American Life in Poetry; and in numerous anthologies.

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