Bourne loosely through the chill gusts,
Disordered fragments of summer's life go hurried by,
Harried to their last resting places
Into piles of brittle, browning drifts
Scattered on the stiffening ground.
A cold sun, coursing ever more briefly
Across these hard, blue-white skies,
Presides above a sleeping landscape steeped in dying hues,
The last fanfare of the greens of life
Draining now into starkness
As nature sheds her flesh and slows
To pose in cold stillness between her cycles
Of life and death,
Waiting, as winter's uncertain, barren bride.
In the house where the anger rang against the walls
The red thoughts of their minds have burnt away
To leave behind that sour feeling
That sinks to sorrow
Now that pride has stepped in to break the bridges
Of charity they might have built back to one another.
Between them those virtues which bind us all together,
The formalities and incidents
The long parade of small things that make up a shared life,
Go on together as always, in smooth procession day to day
The image of harmony exists,
Though not its substance.
They know from this the weight of the awkward silences
Falling between them now and again
Dropping like stones into the deepening pools
Of unspoken discontents forming in their hearts;
The ripples of sadness climbing in widening rings
To skim the surfaces of their speech
As the breezes blown down through the sapphire sky
Tear the detritus of summer's corpse from its enfeebled moorings
And fling the bits of yesterday's blazing beauty
Into pell-mell drifts against foundations and sills,
As spark-scattered frosts gather more thickly
With every lengthening night.