Here’s a pessimistic little autumn poem about the way we do and don’t get our answers in life. If you’re having a bad day, shuffling through ankle-deep leaves in your backyard, feeling winter settle into you bones, trying to let go of summer gracefully, trying to be truthful and thankful, and trying to feel whole until you are whole, then this is your poem.
Do Not Expect...
Do not expect that if your book falls open
to a certain page, that any phrase
you read will make a difference today,
or that the voices you might overhear
when the wind moves through the yellow-green
and golden tent of autumn, speak to you.
Things ripen or go dry. Light plays on the
dark surface of the lake. Each afternoon
your shadow walks beside you on the wall,
and the days stay long and heavy underneath
the distant rumor of the harvest. One
more summer gone,
and one way or another you survive,
dull or regretful, never learning that
nothing is hidden in the obvious
changes of the world, that even the dim
reflection of the sun on tall, dry grass
is more than you will ever understand.
And only briefly then
you touch, you see, you press against
the surface of impenetrable things.