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On the Cusp of Autumn
by Mary Jo Balistreri
September hangs like a cocoon,
the heavy hooded trees withdrawing their faces,
summer's heady extravagance fading.
In the stillness, the trees are monks at prayer,
What interests me is this uncoiling in increments,
how the stored fire of the sun ignites a spark
shaped by silence and night until a bonfire of color
becomes a cathedral of rose windows and stained glass.
Today, in sun's shadow, October rises:
embroidered hills expressing in color
David's jubilent psalms.
Dark underground of pond, silver flashes of carp,
fallen leaves floating—scarlet, amber, a dusty rose.
In the pulsing glow of this autumn day, I am reminded
of stars in the night sky, the way the flare of a comet burns
red in black. And I wonder in the dense ink of human loss,
in the naked exposure of winter, if we, too, aren't shaped
by the dark we would rather avoid.