Red Autumn

 


The cypresses shed blood

Red on the asphalt, driven like

Snow at the marina, and

I deathlessly sneeze and

Cough, sniffling in

Leaf mold and the changing weather,

Watching yet another

Youthful season grow old

And senile. The summer

Waned helplessly before me

And could I have seized

It, and shook it by the shoulders

I would have, saying,

“Wait for me,

Just a little longer now.”

My father says one more frost and

His lawn will lose its green.

He said this morning,

“Do I hear someone mowing?”

And, sure enough, the black

Neighbor who married that nice

Filipino woman was mowing the dust,

brown clouds soaring up

Into a clear and bright Alabama

Sky, little bits of dead grass

Slung out sideways from the blade and

His skin shining, hat too, bright white,

And my father says,

“I need to mow too.”

The fiddle sings like a

Well-tuned train whistle, it screaming

In my ears out of the stock

Ford speakers and it drowning out

The lack of muffler, it giving me chills.

I headed to the end of the parkway

Where it hits the highway and

Stops, the highway running

North to South.

South led to the same, the familiar,

the dark and dirty foundry

And swollen hands, busted knuckles and

More sinus infections. It led

To the same too-soft beds and

Staticy televisions.

North went straight to my brave

And beautiful wilderness, dead

On into smooth pebbles worn

By water so clean you can drink it,

To tupelos reaching into creeks

Drying up in the winter’s thirst,

To birches’ silver knives waving in a

Stinging wind, to the year’s last

Topwater bass that leap into my lap

And there,

There I made the

Tough choice.

“Another year,” I said,

“Another season.”


– Alex White

AlexAlex White lives in Florence, Alabama and is from Decatur, Alabama. A self-styled Buddho-survivalist, he enjoys the outdoors and is an avid angler and dachshund enthusiast. He maintains a poetry blog “Visions of the Afterworld” and copy edits for Garden Spices Magazine.

 

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