October Poems



I shouldn't have been surprised

to find them, scattered

among the dogwood leaves--

wings the color of slate,

almost intact; down fading

to white; breast bones

delicate as a perch's skull.

I'd seen the cats roaming

for days outside the porch.

I'd thought they were after

squirrels, the acorn-crazy

grays scrambling up our oaks.

Then I found the real reason.

Now, like an old woman

gathering bits of teacup,

I pick the bird up and

carry it, all in one hand,

over the hill and

beneath the pines.

Last Night

No moon tonight,

just wind whipping,

driving the leaves like snow.

I open the door,

inhale the musk of fall.

The oak rattles,

thirty-one snakes,

ready to strike


Truths Learned at Forty

Leaking roofs can be fixed with well-placed pots.

Half-bald Goodyears can go another thousand.

Falling out of a dogwood tree won't cure that tree of blight.

Saying it's so to your sons and daughter doesn't make it so.

The poems you intend to write are not the poems written.

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