October

I

It’s odd to have a separate month. It

escapes the year, it is not only cold, it is warm

and loving like a death grip on a willing knee. The

Indians have a name for it, they call it:

“Summer!” The tepees shake in the blast like roosters

at dawn. Everything is special to them,

the colorful ones.

II

Somehow the housewife does not seem gentle.

Is she angry because her husband likes October?

Is it snow bleeds softly from her shoes?

The nest eggs have captured her,

but April rises from her bed.

III

“The beggars are upon us!” cried Chester.

Three strangers appeared at the door, demanding ribbons.

The October wind . . . nests

IV

Why do I think October is beautiful?

It is not, is not beautiful.

                                                  But then

what is there to hold one’s interest

between the various drifts of a day’s

work, but to search out the differences

                                          the window and grate—

but it is not, is not

beautiful.

V

I think your face is beautiful, the way it is

close to my face, and I think you are the real

October with your transparence and the stone

of your words as they pass, as I do not hear them.

 

--- Bill Berkson