Poem for the Season

Autumn Cancer

Each day, the autumn, eating a little further
into the bone.

A leaf falls on a stiller day, coloured a richer brown,
more glowing, more holding, like glazed bread or old apples;

and the lap of the lake gone smaller, a nibbling as of fishes
at feet in tidal pools. The heron stands longer.

Shoals of leaves float further on the water,
the low sun pulses, and light shafts pick more delicately

over woodland and the limbs of ash grown sensuous,
shapely, as a woman from a bath;

while on the alders, yellow, and here and there,
a round leaf hangs, spent coin in the stillness.

I have never known so exactly
this abacus of days. This withdrawal. This closing out.

Kerry Hardie, from her volume A Furious Place
Learn more: Our Interwoven World: Kerry Hardie’s A Furious Place
Photo by Dede Hatch, Ithaca, New York