To Mom, 800 Miles South

Today I saw a red leaf turn and fall
and don upon its face that orange mask.
A Halloween occurrence from back home,
up here, anything beyond August goes.

I had to go northward, I had to know
just how does fresh snow land on a face
when not merely sprinkled, but dumped
by playful Jack Frost and lake effect.

And do northern oak buds emerge the same
when the short winter days bloom back to spring?
Are they buffeted by the same hot winds
that kiss my cheek on warmer days of May?

And as I think of home in bed at night,
I can hear those late October crickets sing.
The song of my backyard, the song of home,
feeling the spin of this earth just like me.

“Goodbye for now,” they say, “but worry not.
Soon it will once again be summertime.”


By Owen Harries

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