Brenda Hillman

Autumn Fugue

A book was sometimes held in your hand
when the Committee on Understanding met
as you waited for them to call you in
& the man who mowed the graveyard
waved with a circular wave
in the manner of cousins under the elm
where it seemed sweet spices
had been cast down near accordion streets
so once the small democracies
had begun, time could make an exception
for owls with the faces of seeds
that looked just like themselves only open;

it is late & sweet with a late
democratic sweetness when seeds
had been cast down in the manner of
spices, where once the small committees
had begun, time played accordion
with its foot in the door, & you felt
at ease in a circular way
so even had the parties called your name
you would not have been wrong;
the elms had made an exception
& a book was sometimes found in your hand
that looked just like itself, only open—

                                        For DY