Prelude by Ralph Culver


Come winter. Autumn pockets
her colors, pulls up
the once warm roots
and hunches southward: a gray,
drained hand rises. Shadow. Shadow.
It stops the blood. It stops
the brain’s fragile traffic. It stops

a buck, rumping a doe
grazing near fast water. He lifts
a tentative hoof and peers.
Every November that he began
waiting to starve is coming in
on the cold purpose of this wind.

And I count the times
I could not keep from turning
to check, mid-step,
the footprints strung behind
in the climbing snow.

by Ralph Culver, first published in Albatross.

Editor’s Note: Astonishing imagery elevates this poem from mere description of a season to brilliant allegory.


2 responses to “Prelude by Ralph Culver”

  1. Risa Denenberg Avatar
  2. […] Autumn Sky Poetry DAILY, November 25, 2015 — by Ralph […]

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