Poetry / Poets

With My Daughter Comes Autumn by Kristin Rodell

In the front of the house the leaves

of the Japanese maple have fallen;

you rake the last of them into the drain.

The garden is full of you; snails

leave a glistening trail like the slick

feel of your head when it crowned,

the wind separates clumped grass into

smooth strands the way I braid your hair.

Sometimes stones lie in the yard;

you throw them over the fence,

and the old woman next door

thinks they rain from heaven

like ruined manna, because

her daughter clung to her nipple

and she remembers only of the sting of it.

Autumn stretches pitiless limbs.

I watch you from my room

and the tall shadow you throw on the fence.

My arms want to circle the garden

with you in it, so when spring

comes you will still be beside the ivy.

I could learn to sprout again and grow ripe

while you curl in the bud of a rose,

while you tuck into a snail’s shell,

sleeping.

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