Autumn Sophia Nugent Siegal

Edge: Seasons of Childhood (Peak District, Derbyshire)


now that the trees are tinder
they burn in an un-fiery wind
pressing themselves like a woodcut on the sky
with their finite corrugations of leaves
oddly metallic in this sepia
of colour

“How parasitic is autumn?”
I ask of the dead stream
brown and rich and rotting
that stands beyond the compass of my eye
down into the stagnant pond
covered over now
and a danger
with no sign

water crossing
a place to throw knives and mirrors
the fingernails of the dead
that will go toward the
making of the last ship

this twilight smothering
makes us look at veins
the wrists of leaves
and the unwed fingers
of the re-virgined trees

we don’t notice much
the cold is toothless and the flowers old
the goddess throws
her hair into the sky
and in this divination of
silent crackling
and infernal flame
we read separation
and the tattoos
of tree branches
the final warm
under scorched earth

by Sophia Nugent-Siegal ©