Early Fall




Absolutely predictable, autumn arrives and I am stunnedby the disinterested brutality.How else could it be?It is, after all, alive.

I have been treated this way before.Yet I stand on the ledge of summerpeering past the equinoxand I expect the new thingthat never happens.

This must be an unlearnable lesson.Or else, I am a pathetic unteachable
studentone who has received so much good
effort.I take his failure to heart and
carry it as if my own.Because it is.*Autumnal

Getting rough out here.
The cicadas of late summer are silent.
Their crisp skins, strewn around
mixed with acorns,
lifeless leaves.

My path is crossed by doomed survivors
– old bees getting a final buzz off of their chests
– limping crickets fooled by mid-day sun
– crazy drunken flies in kamikaze loops

The praying mantis I spy
poised on a fire escape downtown
has no religion.
And the green katydid
flying toward me
with impossible wings
is unnerving

These squirrels are way ahead of me.
Summer was just a dream
and they knew it.


Image: “Early Fall” by Tullio DeSantis, altered ink drawing, 2011


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