Autumnal

Daniel Gibbons

October, teach me bright failing
In the last orange blossoms of my squashes,
In the flip of a woodpecker’s wing,
As a shower of crimson leaves washes

The last orange blossoms of my squashes,
Which frost will blight before they load the vine
As a shower of crimson leaves washes
My window.  
But how can I call these things mine,

Which frost will blight before they load the vine
Which winter takes under the dark soil beneath
My window?  
		O how can I call these things mine
When I haven’t a single true word in me
And winter talks under the dark soil?
				             Beneath
My winter’s silent utter zero,
When I haven’t a single true word in me,
Or a single gentle gesture, teach me to burrow:
To hatch from my winter’s silent utter zero
The still echo of a woodpecker’s pounding
Or a squash-vine’s gentle gesture.  Teach me to borrow,
October, teach me bright failing.

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