At Once Against and With the World
Autumn starts for me like this,
With an evening’s cold, capricious kiss,
Chiding me to stay alert
That I don’t miss my turn to flirt.
I hustle down the dim lit walks,
With lamps on slightly swaying stalks,
Not bothering to dodge the leaves
Cascading down from dormered eaves.
When now the hub of town comes near,
With its public houses pouring beer
Colder than the brittle air
Because it’s close and warm in there,
I go inside against the cold,
Where I like to think we’re men of old.
And on every wooden bench and stool
Sits a girl – an honored golden rule.
They’ve hung their woolen coats on hooks,
And the boys are warming them with looks.
A suggestive stitch, a hopeful hem,
Autumn’s stockings are November’s gems.
And so we work with noble tones
Toward a sense of coming home.
Because man seems tempted to his best
When woman is so smartly dressed.
When everything to do’s been done,
We wrap back up to hold the fun
As close to us as a person’s able,
And leave the rest upon the table.
Though warm within and cold without,
It is easy to forget about
The discomfort we’re supposed to know,
And on our brazen way we go.
Fall is where the season’s heart
Truly shows the human art
Of marching out with soul unfurled –
At once against and with the world.
Originally posted November 2010