by Russell Rowland
The Harvest Moon of Fall and infirmitysucceeds June’s honeymoon. Dead leavesblow away like stipulations. Days shortenat both ends, and the year’s grip loosens.October offers a compromise flesh accepts:pathetic body, anxious to distinguish itselfin bed, asking validation of another’s flesh.Leaves overrun the boneyard nonetheless.I kick my way through what I’ll have to rake,before the obliterating snowfall whites awayeverything done and undone. I can’t changethe outcome, but at least can clear my lawn.Acorns drop more noisily than one expects,from their size. Small hope of propagationfor each. Death is only defeated when wegang up on it—marrying, having children.Still, the oak tree stays a player: bargainingsummer’s plenty for winter’s want. Its armsare empty as it waits for spring. But inside,it knows the seasons, and adds another ring.