October: When to Worry

October: When to Worry

 Today you would not write lines on October
 like the musings of your youth. 
 You said the rosy sky was afire and the smoky air was sad. 
 You smelled leaf rot (deep in your soul), and so on.  
 You marveled at pearly dew sparkling in morning sunlight 
 because that’s what dew does, and that’s what a boy writes  
 the day he sees October.  
 He’s learning to write October.

 It’s time to worry when you see brown.  
 When you hear “the terminal sound 
 Of apples dropping on the dry ground.”  
 You’re going south the day you see 
 geese flee, sunlight fail, green grind down. 
 You’ve got bigger problems than gray wind and dry rose hips.  

 You’ve pulled out of your dive the day  
 brown becomes cinnamon,
 when October nods, slips into red, and Autumn creeps. 
 You’ve turned the corner the moment you see  
 Summer pause on sunlit hill, weep, and move on.

By markthegrey

I am a biologist, author, poet, professor, and parent. I nest in Aurora, IL with my spouse and about two to four kids.

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