Fall Returns to Wisconsin
by Mary Jo Balistreri

For the last gala of the season, gowns blaze
across the yard in scarlet. Lit with the soft glow
of the sun’s chandelier, copper and gold dance
through the air. We watch from the sidelines,
swing back and forth on the old, weathered porch.

Tired from working in the garden,
from skinning and seeding beefsteak tomatoes,
we inhale our rewards in the scent wafting
through the screen. We rock in the well-being
of dark, rich sauce, entertained with the color
in our midst.

Toward dusk the honking geese direct our eyes
to the ice-blue islands of sky. Like a streamlined ship,
black heads slice through tumultuous waves of clouds.
The air shifts. Hand in hand we enter
our aromatic kitchen, think about lifting the scotch plaid
from the closet, putting a few logs on the fire.
With subtle riffs our favorite pianist plays “Bye-Bye Blackbird”
on the turntable. We are ready to return summer to its dreaming.


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