Some are happiest when autumn comes,

Long for turning leaves, aficionados of first frost,

Put out gourds, ornamental sheaves of wheat.

They dress front porches as forsaken tombs,

Imagine themselves ghoul, zombie, and ghost,

Use kitchen knives to jab holes in sheets.

They relish mornings when windows are panes of ice,

Yearn to don soft panoplies of scarves and gloves,

And wait all year to welcome the hard freeze

That forces birds south, woodchucks to earth, mice

To infiltrate warm cupboards, learn to love

All that leans into its finish, truly pleased

To bask in bereavement’s graceful glow,

Alive in it, until it, too, must go.

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This article originally appeared in The New Criterion, Volume 34 Number 1, on page 26
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