A Quarterly Journal
Jeffrey Woodward, Founder & Owner
Ray Rasmussen, General Editor

Volume 13, Number 3, September 2019

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Marge Piercy
Wellfleet, Massachusetts, USA

Winter’s first touch

It’s October. Most trees are still green, but here and there one turns scarlet or golden, dropping its leaves on the ground. In this season death feels near. The perennials have shrunk into their roots. The annuals are crisp remnants. The last red rose sags on its slender twig. Most of the birds who go are gone. We’ve harvested the last peppers. Other tender vegetables—tomatoes, eggplants, cucumbers—are memories. I think about friends who’ve died way too young, brilliant lives vanished. Gone way too soon into the cold earth while the rest of us plod on. With people there is no springtime after the cold withdraws. The air is clearer than it ever is in summer, clean glass to the horizon.

Spring buds open.
Empty chair.
Texts unanswered.