I am becoming…

flaming-leaf_sm_hppi

I am becoming
the color of fall
when it stoops
to November,

russet when it
succumbs to gray
in quiet,
unnoticed ways

until suddenly
the briar leans
bare against
the fence

bleak, wild
and forgettable

© Sarah Whiteley

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reconciliation

a dozen dark-eyed juncos,
full of bright yes-es,
skitter through a feast
of fallen cones

for days now I’ve carried
the polished comfort
of a horse chestnut
like a talisman

though no earthly charm
will reconcile the leaves
back onto November trees
when October finally yields

© Sarah Whiteley

November chickadees

chickadee 20141101_123635

November chill
rusts the dogwood,
scatters the locust seeds
down the sodden street

the maple this year
shows an unusual
reluctance for red

but today gray was made
a near beautiful thing –
a frame for the darker
darts of the chickadees

in the yellow goodbye
of the chestnut tree

© Sarah Whiteley

talismans

the leaves have dropped
burnt out finally after
the last conflagration
and the fog drifts in
most mornings now
a shroud for ashen skies
hangs about sometimes
until noon even
days like this call
for extra cups of coffee
with an extra spoon of sugar –
something hot and sweet
to cup chilled hands about
a talisman against graying days
and the sooner dark
thoughts of you
were once my August
in the icy weeks to come
now I have the warmly
snoring bodies of dogs
and extra doses
of coffee the color
of 5 AM in December

© Sarah Whiteley