Radio, Rhythm & Rhyme

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Poetry Friday: “Last Autumn”

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photo courtesy of Pat Cooley

“Last Autumn”

Do you remember
when we almost got lost
down by the creek
near that old stone wall?
It all started with an apple.

One of us (I don’t recall)
had twisted the season’s last McIntosh
from a withered branch.  Sharing
small bites, we ate
all the way around
save for a dark blemish where something wild
and hungry
had gnawed its flesh.

Tossing the core deep into woods
we ran across the field
for no reason
other than to run
and laughed
for no reason
other than to laugh.

When we finally reached the creek
(were you first, or me?)
remember how we spent our time
dodging briars
walking the rocks
and making sure neither fell onto the slick
smooth stones beneath
the glassy current?
Table Rock, we called it, flat and mossy
under a beech tree rose
up to meet yellowing leaves
wind chimes
dancing
to a silent song.

I helped you onto the stone
or perhaps you helped me
and we sat there
talking of fish
and books
and apples
while the call of a lone wood thrush
made melody with the water.
For a time, we simply listened
because our ears wanted to
watched
because our eyes needed to
and before we knew, color had disappeared
from the leaves
the warm October breeze had cooled
and Venus was peeking out
from behind pale sunglow.

Not sure how we had gotten there
but knowing enough to follow the creek
I helped you
or you helped me
down from the rock
and we wandered back
retracing steps
under trees and over stones
only this time
as friends
confidantes

conspirators.

And it all started with an apple.

Do you remember?

- © 2013, Matt Forrest Esenwine

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For all of today’s Poetry Friday happenings, please visit Irene Latham at Live Your Poem!  Also be sure to join these folks on the Mortimer Minute blog hop today:

Violet mug-2Violet Nesdoly is a former International Christian Poet Laureate and regular contributor to Poetry Friday.
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papa j funk logoPapa-J Funk, meanwhile, never claimed to be a poet – although he is quite adept at creating fun and unusual rhymes in his picture book manuscripts!

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28 thoughts on “Poetry Friday: “Last Autumn”

  1. Lovely poem, Matt. Is it based on a true event?

  2. Beautiful autumn poem, Matt. I especially liked the opening stanza — an invitation to step into memory with you.

  3. Very Robert Frost-y! Very nice, Matt.

  4. Gorgeous poem, Matt!

  5. Beautiful. I like this re-telling of the apple story.

  6. Wonderful! The setting might have been in my home state of Arkansas. As a child, I walked barefoot on the “flat, mossy rocks” in mountain streams. I like especially the line “a lone wood thrush made melody with the water.”

  7. I really love what this says about memory… however it happened, the emotion of the event stays and stays. Thank you for sharing!

  8. I love these kinds of poems, evoking memories of whatever kind, & you’ve brought in the apples again-might be a project, Matt! I love that kinship you showed us, a connection of these two, young friends, or lovers-the image is so strong. A favorite line: “wind chimes/dancing/to a silent song.”

  9. “It all started with an apple”

    Maybe you need to write an apple-themed book, Matt! They keep popping up in your life.

    Some lovely images here, like: “yellowing leaves
    wind chimes
    dancing
    to a silent song.”

  10. maryleehahn on said:

    This TOTALLY reminds me of Frost’s “West-Running Brook!” Was this conscious, unconscious, or (miraculously) neither?

    • Thank you so much, Mary Lee – I’m humbled by the comparison. Although I love Frost and am familiar with many of his poems, I’d never heard of “West-Running Brook,” so I just looked it up. I can see the similarities, but they certainly weren’t intentional! (In fact, I’m very surprised at his poem, because he was a critic of free verse and openly stated his dislike of it.) I’m going to go read some more!

  11. Thank you for whisking me away on a wonderful adventure. “We ran across the field for no reason other than to run and laughed for no reason other than to laugh.” And I read for no other reason than to enjoy.

  12. Yes, I agree with Irene — I like the way you call up the way we remember things, a little fuzzily, but with something true at the core.

  13. Isn’t it amazing how one piece of fruit can conjure up a whole world? I love the image of Venus “peeking out/from behind pale sunglow.” Thanks for sharing!

  14. Ah. Apples. They are dangerous things, aren’t they. :) Beautiful. So wistful. These reminiscences give a youthful glow to my eye.

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