The Autumn Way2014 String Poet First Prize

for Gertrude (Klugherz) Meyer 1917–2007

Resigning to their autumn fate,
The last few leaves release their grip.
Without objection or debate
Willing branches let them slip
And drift away like yellow wings.
Such is the autumn way of things.

The robins left long weeks ago
Without a farewell look or song.
They always have the wit to know
It’s time for them to move along.
Something inward tells them so.
They recognize the need to go.

The wind announces winter’s near
And revels in the icy news.
And then, as if I did not hear
That there’s so little time to lose,
It whistles louder and more clear:
“Winter’s near! Winter’s near!”

Some see a message in the fall
When birds depart and leaves descend.
They say the lesson for us all
Is everything will have an end.
I understand both bird and tree.
Their lesson is not lost on me.

But we must still account for will.
I’ve lived too long to be dismayed
By autumn loss and winter chill,
Yet considerations must be weighed
When on some late autumnal day
The mind says go and the heart says stay.

One day I’ll follow leaf and bird
And take the breezy autumn way.
I’ll be both willing and assured.
I’ll not object, I’ll not delay.
I’ll recognize my time to go
When something inward tells me so.

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