Late November Dusk
Your day whittled down to nothing,
Evening puts away its pocket knife.
Last leaves everywhere jump from their
Timber ledges—so near is the season
Of resolutions. Close by, the smoke
Of burning foliage wafts unseen
Into the darkness—city ordinances
Be damned. Enjoying that pungency
Means conspiring with those felonious
Souls three streets due west, the ones
Who over-decorate every Halloween,
Whose ill-mannered boys—the gossips
Assure—will amount to nothing.
You’re not a gossip, but you like to listen.
Better that than raking leaves—this
Plague of color. O women’s voices over
Morning coffee! Judging, foretelling,
Conjuring like a cauldron of witches, though
Decorous in their enmity, tender even.
by Jon Ballard
from Autumn Sky Poetry Number 5, March 2007
Photo by Christine Klocek-Lim