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An ode to fall (with photos)

A poem by Patrick Stevens


Here lies the harvest

fast piled rough

with all we can stuff

our chipmunk cheeks

puffed and bulging

or squirrels or ants

or bees with their combs.

I relish the ripeness

of September

just after the rot sets in;

when last apples drop,

deer come at night

to feast on our fallen bounty;

leaf edges brown here, then there,

the maples, sweet and red,

drip to the ground

drowned in morning dew.

In evening I see

a thousand varied birds

fowl big, fowl small

flocking south:

go south, go south

they shout, stroking

the air past my sky,

seeking fresh wheat berries

and grasses still green,

as frost turns my world white.

We fight the famine

we fear being old

as if our fate rests still in caves

with bright open blazes

where only our hands

or faces and feet warm

so we hold

so we hold

fearing night; fearing cold.

For me

I wait the rest of winter

I wait the Northern lights

I wait to touch the stars

and hear a crackle under

as I step off the porch

off into the night.

Cloquet native and Moose Lake resident Patrick Alan Stevens is a poet, and a careful observer of the transition from summer to fall.