Ode to Autumn

Aug 31, 2018

Today’s poem is “Ode to Autumn” by Sally Bliumis-Dunn. Her poems have appeared in Paris Review, Plume, Prairie Schooner, The Academy of American Poets' Poem-a-day, and The Writer's Almanac. “Ode to Autumn” is from her third full-length collection, ECHOLOCATION, which was published by Plume Editions, MadHat Press in March 2018.

The poem, she says, “was written to my mother in her last year of life when both her mental and physical abilities were quite diminished. The poem wishes to evoke her former vibrant self which I envisioned through the brilliant autumn leaves which too would soon leave their life on the earth.”

Ode to Autumn
by Sally Bliumis-Dunn

So many colors abandon the earth,
and go skyward to the trees
like origami birds,

scarlet, orange, creased
and folded into the mind
where these paper birds come alive,
the trees quiver a little—

this is where I can
still see you

in these gray branches
with brightly colored
birds that are not birds—envision you

still darning
the heels of Jimmy’s socks
those evenings after school

at the kitchen table when
you’d run your finger down our list—
not here in the duller green
where the last of the pink roses
are browning on the vine,

and along the fence,
your favorite lilies, wilted,

and everywhere
the hungry bees.

Poem copyright ©2018 Sally Bliumis-Dunn. Reprinted from Echolocation, MadHat Press, 2018, by permission of Sally Bliumis-Dunn.