Issue 10


Winter 2014

 

Ash

von den gilbenden zu den gelben
langsamen Verfall
—Rilke



First whose paired leaves go from green
to flat yellow, first to drop them, and
all at once, burying the parsley’s sharp, fine
curls – as if to mark the beginning of an end:

knuckling in its cool roots spring-starved crocuses,
the ash is begging the slow, warm autumn
to be done.  Is this why you pause
in the hourly-less shadow of the ash and listen

to the fountain’s slim, slick trickle, cicadas’
calls drawn out to days still green-edged
and long? Is this why you ask yourself – as
you hold a yellowed ash leaf – What is this

urge? This fading, this falling away? An anguish
clutches you, lets you slowly drop. No reply,
though, but the thin, bared twigs of the ash:
There was no time when we weren’t this way.

_________________________________

James Scannell McCormick

 

 

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