Across the river from the asylum
under the gush of grey
sodden sky flirting with the
sun – a fickle breath tumbles
autumnal leaves through the last gasp
of meadows, golden-rusted
larkspur and rusted ragweed
the glimmering of winter berries
dead in appearance, lively
chilling winter approaches –
They leave the old world clothed,
warm, unsure of all
save that they leave. All about them
the cooling, southern wind –
Yesterday the grass, now
the lace of frost traces maple veins
As one nature reduces –
It lessens: obscurity, shadows of leaf
Tomorrow the stark solemnity of
leave-taking – the end
creeps upon them: surprised, they
burrow into the whitening earth.
A note of explanation. While reading William Carlos Williams' poem SPRING and ALL, I immediately imaged an old psychiatric hosptal in Massachusetts. The picture is a postcard of the Worcester State Hospital, now empty but beautiful in its derelict. I've walked the grounds often; the main building sits on the hill above UMass Worcester Medical Center, where I still maintain an adjunct position, and the place where I was born... so following the mood and style of Williams, I created a poem hoping to elucidate feelings of winter's melancholy...
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