Thursday, September 24, 2015

A Fall Poem

Wild Turkeys    


 Rumors from the north country
 favor bobcat sightings.
 Here we have neither fat bear
 nor spindly moose
 but a family of wild turkeys
 crosses the driveway
 at dawn, the young ones
 scrabbling along the stones --
 beaks down, eager for
 acorns or nuts. The two females
 dull-brown, strut briskly
 as they scan for shelter.
 Soon enough they cross
  over to woodlands,
  a flock of feathers
  disappearing into brush.

   In mid-October
   the signs of change
   are everywhere.
   Red ferns, goldenrod,
   shy asters.
   When I burn the leaves
   of the aster plant,
    I drive away
    the evil spirits
    of the cold.
    Let the season
    begin. May the dry leaves
    leap and spin
     in the wild air.


    Autumn takes her

    first hostage,
    my delicate she-cat.
    No cry, no thrashing 
    in the underbrush. 
    Simply gone ...
    The shades of coyotes
     like the spirits of summer
     roam the edges of woodlots
     and forest paths.
     A blackened bush,
      victim of child’s play,
      belies the russet-colored leaves.
      Winter when it comes
      will swallow everything
       in shrouds of white.

     When a young turkey 
      goes missing
      the whole flock stops,
      waiting for the little one
      to return.
      Like them,
      I search the golden fields,
      the grassy inclines
      for that one moment
      when I spot the beloved,
      the world gone mad
      with the frenzy of my longing
       then a stalled breath,        
       then quiet, then
       fog lifting
       over the dark earth.

(From Dream of the Antique Dealer's Daughter, published by Word Poetry, 2013)