So begins the long decline —
Red oak crackles
Above and below.
Before long,
Everything will be bare and dry.
And, really,
Though I’m a good pretender,
There is no like-minded,
When every turn
Brings smiles or sighs —
It’s a lonesome reflection.

You are different.
When all are listening,
Words matter.
My words —
However carefully selected —
Do not.
The meaning only for me.

A lone egret,
Stark white and shining
In steely water,
Watches me ramble.
We wild things
Must keep each other company.
Soon I will be white as he —
In the relative counting of years —
But then he’ll be fishing other waters.
And the snow
Will camouflage
The harbinger —
My increasing count.

Here is a robin,
Blessing the sun from high above.
He would have me believe
I worry over nothing,
That — at the very least —
The winter birds will bear witness.
But all those blue-gray clouds
Hovering on the northern horizon
Reach bony fingers across the prairie grass.
Some days, it seems
I can call the gray outward.

All these knotted and twisted strands —
I still don’t know what to make of them.
But they are well defined
Against the watercolor clouds
That cut the sun —
Juxtaposing tangled soft
With the faceted brilliance
Of a gemstone autumn.
And here are the crows again —
Laughing and looping
In a corner of conifers.
The others come in pairs or more
To remind me
I am broken.

But this place sets the tools before me.
The wind arrives to hone their edges.
Blindly I reach
And the rustling weeds and wings
Guide my hands.
My daydreams cannot spare me –
This is necessary.
I choose.
And begin to scrape away
Years of layered paint.
Flakes fall and are carried away,
Like so many leaves –
Revealing the weather-bent
Architecture beneath.


About Emily

I may or may not have: A. Dirt B. Ink C. Paint D. Wool under my fingernails.

One response to “Harbinger”

  1. poets rally says :

    glad to discover your poetry talent,


    hope to see you join poets rally today, submit a free verse, make poetic friends among your peers, how divine.

    official award is given if you stay in 2 or 3 weeks in a row.


    hope to see you in.

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