Posted by: Thomas Drinkard | June 25, 2012

Gray Autumn

Gray Autumn

                       “That time of year thou mayest in me behold

                       when yellow leaves or none, or few do hang…

                      Shakespeare.

When I first knew that fall had finally come,

I knew then, I had lied in summer.

Gray clouds clung like blown wet hair,

hiding the mountains across the lake,

whose autumn colors,

     I had said,

would be this season’s glory.

I had said that my eyes,

having drunk their fill of sun and green,

thirsted for red and yellow,

against the sunsets of shortening days;

knowing the winter solstice

comes striding like a dark, tall wind

whose passing stirs the limbs and trembles

leaves still clinging to barren branches.

Now,

when darkness comes,

spilling among the trunks,

filling empty spaces to top spare leaves,

burying fantasy colors

in a cloak of black,

I hear my summer lie echoing

like  a night cry

in skinny, bald limbs,

knowing the blank white of winter

erases detail,

blurs specifics, until…

     perhaps

a reaching tendril of green

touches the long fingers of a new sun.

First published in Elk River Review.

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