AUTUMN BY DEGREES

by Jnana Hodson

1

in bursts of hundreds, ten thousand leaves
stampede over the crest of Rosemary Lane

this scurry of heedless massing
of rodents in drunken escape streams

their electric discharge belittles
the sunset slipping into darkness

crossing our feet in some derangement
the pelting of sleet

2

some October night
shivery petals shall upend
a row of headstones, too

somehow each New England autumn comes
down to boughs in a graveyard

a common of stone and bone

a wailing wall
for a New Zion

3

it’s not blood you’re shedding
but fire
– flames and coals
before the icy

flurry
turns airy in sequence

until only the strokes
remain

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Copyright 2015
A section of this poem originally appeared in Medicinal Purposes

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