Saturday book feature — Seringo — Charles Weld

Degrees of Bare

On an October walk, Thoreau began to compare
the extent of trees’ leaf fall, relying on the word bare—
fairly bare, more bare, just bare, completely bare—

degree matched to species, part of his calendar
of seasonal markers. To see for him meant to prepare
to receive what was unseen but already there,
a practice increasing capacity, almost like prayer
for a pilgrim. Red Maples had dropped their
leaves before alders and birches. Snakes, aware
that the woods had opened, sunned on banks where
it had been shady and cool a week before. Peculiar
came from field crickets in Hubbard’s pasture.
Entering November required attention and care,
if you were to welcome the hangman, not simply surrender.

by Charles Weld from Seringo (Kelsay Books 2023)

Cover photo by Benjamin Raffetseder
Cover design by Shay Culligan

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