Why is it, plied with cinnamon stars
and uprooted by bitterbrown coffeed dawns,
that we sit back in our ample autumns
and turn a shaved red face with fall—?

Is it wise to goad the winter so—
to sell the bounty of the year before it
comes to apple’s prime and pumpkins,
to stifle life up on the breezeways?

And why be still in morose reflections,
wasting wish for cold storm glow and
fires fueled by the trees gone dead—
the heap of nature arsoned at the hearth?

For us?

We make the magic that we sell in snow:
in wily winters born to beat us down, in
pitch of darkness on the blue-white plain,
as camp before the lusty dawn of spring.

We: magicians casting spells in deadness,
preferring more the art of waiting, and of sleep
to nature down, and cancered, and retired—
done before the doctor can prescribe.

Is it not, as coffee sipped and minds wreak on,
a better plot to sing in winter pall as soon
as sex in spring? That we must feel well and
segregate our sorrows is our deepest fault and guile.

For oh, the way we smile down the dirge—

But no matter—still comes yet, and cold it
presses on like boots through conquered land.
What brave stupid sons we are—and all with
smiling magic to delude, the puppetry of death.

Come winter, on, I pray, and be as part of life—
unlit, unblessed, undoing what we’ve done—
in every end, sweep through the guile by storm.