leaves pirouette, tumble, sway,

zigzag like spent firecrackers.

Birds return souls through gaps in grey clouds.

Branches are strewn with stranded passengers

near a tidy row of peking ducks from the panes of our past.       

Alone on a patch face down,

a green leaf, the other brown,

his brittle arm wrapped around her in a pact.

The randy scent of hay, of firewood and forgotten summer romances

smothers grass under an oak with the affections of an unwanted lover.

Mallards, their cuprous green necks under water, paddle in the air,

mushrooms spy from the trench of  fallen bark  

geese with quizzical faces plotted in a bell curve watch  

leaves shoot  across a path spinning cartwheels and handstands.

A displaced trumpet player on a bench raises the dead from their resting places

and masses join those that float upon the lake waiting to be claimed.

I follow the trail of an ocean liner trunk,

stamped with ash the yellow of seaside taffy, of canary songs

and Gingkos peeling on the Victorian plaster walls of our home

while a breeze whirls the circle of a school yard ring.

I  cross beneath boughs bare as  marriage

and crimson leaves bright as an infant’s heart

flutter and descend.

Lydia's work has recently appeared in The Smoking Poet . A collection of stories was selected as a finalist in Grace Notes Discovering the Undiscovered Competition.

To begin, there was a walk with a nagging feeling that dead things were living  (not in the zombie sense) but I had simply been to obtuse to see it.   Months later, I was still distilling the untitled poem  and happened upon Frost’s My November Guest and gently lifted a line for its title.




Copyright 2009