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Guest Post: “When Autumn’s Through,” by Karen Kelsay

by Patricia | 1.18.10

I cannot kick a mound of maple leaves
or see a pumpkin peeking from the vine
before the frost and not remember hills
where summer laid her green. A distant line

of poplars gleams like curtains made of coins;
it shakes at passing clouds. And everywhere
the magpie hops, I see another sign
of hawthorns beckoning the winter air

to breathe upon the fields. It once was mine,
that sweet transition only autumn knows.
The one that holds the oak limbs silently,
embracing every chilly breeze that blows.

It leads me into mottled shadows of
a deeper hue, where nothing seems so true
as winter’s birth. Sometimes, I catch a glimpse
of it beneath the vines, when autumn’s through.

4 Responses to Guest Post: “When Autumn’s Through,” by Karen Kelsay

  1. Patricia

    The song-like qualities of this poem totally charm me. Some of its lines startle me–startle, as in “Surprise!” The last stanza, especially–my mind wants to commit it to memory so that it can turn it over and over, savoring.

    Lovely poem.

  2. Th.


    I’m impressed it can maintain those song-like qualities without getting chintzy. Seems like we don’t see that balance much any more.

    Or maybe that’s more reflective of my own reading.

  3. Wm Morris

    I like that break between “A distant line” and “of poplars,” Karen.

  4. karen

    Thanks, all of you, for commenting!

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