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‘Autumn’ – Andrew Griffes

Fall says: “This could be it.
Today could be your last.
Try it on.”

Those first few breaths upon waking,
so innocent,
So entitled to eternity.
Until the sun crested the seam between our world
And the one you inherit.
The thinning autumn light
The piercing wind of nostalgia
The splendor of golden leaves
These, the season’s horses
draw your cart
Beyond the familiar.

Today, you become a citizen of memory.

The moment you bent down to kiss the forehead
Of your dear child.
The moment you stood at the river,
alone and whole.
The moment you stopped collecting each day
As a trophy.
This moment.
The one where the immensity of your life
Claims you.

And you face the world,
The unwinnable war,
At last with unflinching care.
And you dare to forgive the hurt
To you and by you.
And you touch today
With the whispered blessing
Of one who has known wonder.
And you shuffle quietly
Along the path of leaves
Into a forest that remembers you.