Thirteen Ways to Look at Autumn

 /   /  By Emma Birches
Stone Soup Magazine
September/October 2008

By Kelly Dai

The smell of gingersnaps,
apple cider,
and pumpkin pie
wafting through the air
in delicate swirls
arm-in-arm with the colorful wind.

The shy sun
poking through
the wooden arms
of a lamenting willow.

Golden drops
of warm sunshine
strewn across the yards
of piled leaves and blades of thin grass.

Quietly,
almost silently,
the bitter wind and its long fingers
pull and wrench at the crackling leaves.

The sighs
of schoolchildren
accompanying the morning fog
on the dawn of the first day.

The clouds overhead
as gray and lumpy
as my grandma’s oatmeal.

A flock of geese, united in song,
fly south for the winter.

Shadows trace the geese’s dark feathers
against the flames of dusk.
As I watch them fly
the roar of the ocean drowns out my bellow:
Why must you depart?

A dove and a nightingale
cooing along
with the caws of a raven
upon the calling of Hallow’s Eve.

Pumpkins and jack-o’-lanterns
with wicked smiles
glaring at you from doorsteps.

The sweet taste of pumpkin pie
dancing upon your tongue.

I do not know which to prefer,
the beauty of contrast
or the beauty of harmony.
The last green leaf
or the vicinity.

The mountain is sighing.
Autumn must be near.

Thirteen Ways to Look at Autumn Kelly Dai

Kelly Dai, 12
Merion Station,
Pennsylvania

About the Author

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