Poem by Lib O’Brien

Autumn Turning
 
beneath ancient cottonwoods
the marsh exhales green, brown—
dead grasses bowed by last week’s rain
 
spiky thistles, white asters,
red-tipped grass, wild strawberry,
weave together—alive
 
sunflowers droop with rot and decay—
one surviving bloom glows yellow
 
the living—the dying surround me like friends
newly ill with cancer—some bowing with its weight
some lifting their faces
 
autumn turning—warm, soft, slow,
beneath soughing breezes, Harvest moonrise
 
tiny purple thistles sprout gray down
slender brown cattails with caps of white fuzz
go to seed—no regret, denial, mourning
 
clouds of white-feathered grass spread
cross the marsh—tousled hair glows with light
 
like Bessie—on the tin porch,
her wet, silvered hair brushed
until it dries in the sun,
 
turning like the marsh—
calm, matter-of-fact, content
 
to hoe her beans, prune her roses
taught by many gardens to  honor sprouts,
harvest, decay—to begin again each spring
 
I, Bessie’s age when she tended me
as an infant, a young child
 
I, the drying lizard tail stalk—crusty,
flaunting  red and white berries on the tip,
nestled beside still-blooming mother flowers
 
in me, the pace of  marsh—
warm, slow, brown
 
no need to grasp or multiply,
only to turn, weave the weedy
thicket of my life—here, now

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About Miriam Sagan

I'm blogging about poetry, land art, haiku, women artists, road trips, and Baba Yaga at Miriam's Well (https://miriamswell.wordpress.com). The well is ALWAYS looking to publish poetry on our themes, sudden fiction, and guest bloggers and musers.

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