November

Show’s over, folks. And didn’t October do

A bang-up job? Crisp breezes, full-throated cries

Of migrating geese, low-floating coral moon.

 

Nothing left but fool’s gold in the trees.

Did I love it enough, the full-throttle foliage,

While it lasted? Was I dazzled? The bees

 

Have up and quit their last-ditch flights of forage

And gone to shiver in their winter clusters.

Field mice hit the barns, big squirrels gorge

 

On busted chestnuts. A sky like hardened plaster

Hovers. The pasty river, its next of kin,

Coughs up reed grass fat as feather dusters.

 

Even the swarms of kids have given in

To winter’s big excuse, boxed-in allure:

TVs ricochet light behind pulled curtains.

 

The days throw up a closed sign around four.

The hapless customer who’d wanted something

Arrives to find lights out, a bolted door.

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