St. Mary's Autumn Rummage Sale
by Lois Parker Edstrom

This must be the light artists in the south of France
crave; how everything seems supercharged—
spun gold luster that gilds oaks and evergreens,
asters and hydrangeas, an intimacy of air and light.
I feel a quiet yet sudden change, as the tectonic plate
of autumn slides over a weary summer.

We walk past St. Mary's, see a throng of people
stretching from its doors out to the road.
A lot of people needing confession, my husband jokes.
A lot of sinning going on, a passerby responds.

We see the priest blessing the shoppers as they enter
the church. Outside the wind, that old prophet of autumn,
comes to claim its followers, leaves twirling, falling,
skittering along the road like brown-robed monks.


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