Poem for Autumn

Cold, Combustion


The air is full
of fire – sparks of leaf
fly, fall onto the brittle kindling
of drought-dried wilt.
Bellowed by bursts
of north wind, flames
spread until flecks of gold leaf
litter expanses of dry grass.
Carotene flickers, burns
green lawn into patchwork ground.
Even the pink dogwood,
whose passion-dipped petals
counted as icons of grace
last spring, has set itself ablaze:
a shimmering cascade
of drifting scarlet hearts.
Summer lovers caught
by this new cold, its combustion
rattles our seasoned composure,
reminds us that once change starts,
there is just no stopping it.

   by Anne McCrady

   appears in the 2016 Texas Poetry Calendar

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