November Noon after All Saints Day

The sun hangs slant,
making a liar of me
when, with my dogs, I burst
outside. After weeks of Friday rains,
I emerge today to breathe life
and attend the stirrings of high noon.

When did it happen?
When was it that, somewhere
between the harvest of Swiss
chard and roasted pumpkin seeds,
the sun fixed her attention
elsewhere, leaving the land
to slip into resigned silence and
the air to lie like a vacant lot, abandoned
by wings heading for softer updrafts?
A few squirrels scurry low; one family
of sparrows has claimed their
peasant hovel in the thicket–that’s all.

And me? I stand startled like
a blinded deer, not from fear,
not even from ingratitude for what is;
I simply don’t know if I can bear
another season of slick, blackened leaves
under my feet, or those long
shadows of tree fingers stretching
toward griefs I thought were forgotten,
but which, I realize, are mounded
higher with each slanting of the sun.


  1. I am grateful for your recent poetry posts.
    This last stanza rings painfully true right now.

  2. Jean, I am realizing that the loss of sunlight, the loss of nature’s overt activity is affecting me emotionally and connecting me to many other losses as well.

  3. This week I visited a nonagenarian who is struggling mightily with seasonal affective disorder. I would like to shower her with “stirrings of high noon”.

  4. By all means, shower her. Apparently Bonhoeffer also suffered in some way. He is quoted in a novel I just read (“Abide with Me” by Elizabeth Strout) as writing in a letter to his parents: “Now the dismal autumn days have begun and one has to try and get light from within.” Why does that make so much sense all of a sudden?