A Poem For Sunday

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“A Penny for Your Thoughts” by Mary Ruefle:

How are we to find eight short English words
that actually stand for autumn?
One peculiar way to die of loneliness
is to try. Pretend November has
a sliver of ice in her throat.
Pretend it is nice, pretend the sliver
of ice is nice, and beckons you.
Talk for half an hour about the little churchyard
full of the graves of people who have died
eating nachos. Go on until you can go no further brown.
Let the river flow. It is written in stone.
Let the sparrows take your only coin
and fly with it, twittering over some main event.
What color ribbon will you wear in your hair?
Now the clouds look burnt. But first they burned.
To you I must tell all or lie.

(From Trances of the Blast © 2013 by Mary Ruefle. Used by permission of Wave Books. Photo by Brian Smithson)