Autumn comes not peacefully, but as a shock.
Summer will be missed; its brilliant sun-stunned color,
bodacious energy fades into nuance
that seems to greedily suck the vibrancy
back into the bronze lap of our time-worn earth,
except for a breathtaking superb moment
when trees valiantly cling to one last glory
before relinquishing their beauty to stand
silent and naked in the frigid tundra.
Life takes blind refuge behind walls and closed doors
where movement is constrained, quiet, and careful.
Summer’s boisterous play and its neglectful heart
succumbs to memory, bits and parts swallowed
by the early evening shadows that slowly,
but steadily, creep from corners to consume
the core of the room decorated with care
in anticipation of holiday fetes,
maddened attempts to snare hope a bit longer,
before all is buried beneath frozen snow.
Gazing fireside, the flames crackle and flicker.
Within their dance, memories sink into darkness:
a buzz of the lawn mower; wafts of freshly cut grass
skate board wheels on concrete; a sprinkler’s rhythmic castanet
the smell of salt on an ocean breeze; the chink and creak of a porch swing
--all beckon the gray and weary traveler.
Drafts of early winter seep beneath a door,
and the soul seeks safety in recollection
of summer’s child at play heated by laughter,
the voice of an angel, comprehending bliss.
~~ Karen A. Oberlin