BY HARRY WAITZMAN
Not spring but fall’s gossiping
promises the world another chance.
Not coos of April in her green bodice
but October’s orange change of life
hardens seeds, fattens geese,
firms flesh of pickerel and perch,
glazes an ice bridge across the lake,
locks jaws of mosquitoes and gnats,
sews pockets in the wind for boys.
I’m renewed in the rain of red leaves,
and reminded to count my days
by wing-tailed squirrels skating of air
chasing chestnuts, saying good-bye
to alien birds.
Surely, as the skeletons of hollyhocks
pluck the wind’s guitar,
early frost camps within my garden
and paints it black, bright
zinnias tremble from a brush with death.