the goodbye-ness of autumn

the goodbye-ness of autumn –
that long departure
of soft greens
into drifting golds –
flits sneakily
into the tips of trees
with its quiet reddening
before the freeze

earlier purpling skies
bring the sudden cacophonies
of starling troops
which garrison
in the horse chestnut,
starry and black
in the branches
of a yellow sun

morning walks
become gentler
meditations on dodging
fat spiders hanging
in their webs
which drape the air
between power pole
and pine

and among you walk
a gentle few who pause
with palms against
the bark

to discover if
they might sense
the exact solemn moment
the sap stills

© Sarah Whiteley


  1. Beautiful poem. I realized that I am missing the magic of the change in my dread of the winter cold. Too sad and just for the aches in my bones and the prolonged quiet. I’m changing my attitude and embracing the change. It feels delightful.



  2. I like that you write in sentences, Sarah, so that there’s a logic and a cadence to all of these beautiful images that matches the breath and doesn’t rush the thought. Now, if I listen for sap to stop in the fall, shall I listen for it to start up again in the spring? 🙂



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