A tedious season they await
Who hear November at the gate.
All saintly, grown half-way from learned girlhood
To full wilt of soul which womanhood achieves,
You jacket life in shocked piping, sullen mood.
One hand’s at time’s doorknob; the other believes
Entrancing exits of a drafty year
Elect what remnants your future receives.
But making progress nor egress, you fear
November is your last chance to induce
The autumn to harvest a fallen tear.
Because you have little time to bemuse
Your heart to handle what has gone before,
You can’t claim grief’s nor candor’s old excuse –
Yet, as the story goes, love was your bete-noir
Foretold as bad weather; and love, the friend
You did not want but could not avoid, the war
Both cold and soft, undeclared yet convened;
A beautiful waking to dawn’s topaz light
But dark betrayal too – the only godsend
You’d had. This month, dressed black to the nines, you might
Make a breakthrough – moving from grey distances
To open spaces where autumn’s geese take flight
In songs of thanksgiving. Other entrances
Replace their exit, other voices fill
Your head. Meanwhile your mourning enhances
That day the phone choked your heart: “We found him... still…
Half his head gone...His hunting rifle close
Beside him...Eyes more certain than futile... “
His love had grown strong; and now his seed tries
To grow as strong within your grief as blood,
To groan from month to month with smothered cries.