Maple seedlings twirl out of the reddening leaves
out of the blue cerulean onto ochre bricks
in the clear wonder of one autumn day
everything blushes toward the fall to come

But the road in my mind ends among some birches
somewhere in Siberia     white on white
their limbs garnered into icebound sheaves
woodpiles     a pear-shaped lake frozen like a drum

White too are the endless nights
among huddled words     I am a bundle of sticks
frozen head down signalling "wrong way"

until a forgotten phantom heaves back the door of
the inclined pole     and spring lurches free
bearing my whole body toward     her delirious shore

Henry Gould | Island Road 2
Contents | Mudlark No. 6