The Beauty of Autumn

On Wednesday we learned of a transition in our family, a little one we were expecting in February was instead delivered at twenty weeks by my sister Autumn. I’ve been completely humbled by the experience, both the exquisite unbelievable pain, and the sweet tender weight of family. I’m feeling everything in poetry. I wanted to share some with you.

The Beauty of Autumn

Few of the trees here are evergreen 
The most beautiful hues are all bright and brief 
and clear and sharp and haunting

The verdant holdout who seems immune 
to the tax fall demands with windswept hands 
will be stripped right down to the quick, it’s that season

Fire covers the wood from floor to ceiling 
becomes earth again, still, changing and healing
Swallowing up all but the smallest bones

Hours after the child became ash 
An owl told the story in a whoop and howl 
We thrilled at the wild language of our belonging 

And I wonder, how do the trees let go 
of their leaves, which made it through the summer’s blaze 
But then left, hushed and nameless with the wind?

And I wonder, what does the earth recall 
When the cold gives way and the green slips forth 
from her body, taking another greedy spring?

And I wonder of Venus and Mercury 
When they watch her face is it grief they see 
Do they wish their fleeting eclipses could keep her from burning?

And I wonder, what should a mother do 
With that stored up love, when a life is through…
what playful perfect spirit will come to receive it?

When I was younger I feared the woods 
How could all this ghosting amount to any good?
Now it seems so sweet just to be haunted.

Was it yesterday we rang all the bells 
To mark the solstice and the darkening days 
To chant: even this quick dying season was wanted.