Fall

Original Text: 
Carol Shields, Coming to Canada: Poems, ed. Christopher Levenson (Ottawa: Carleton University Press, 1992): 87.
1This is the time of year when golden-agers
2are taken on buses to view the autumn foliage
3as though the sight and scent of yellowed trees
4will stuff them with beautiful thoughts
5and keep them from knowing --
6as if there were still a trace of undamaged
7hunger -- for simple beauty, for colours,
8the sun falling frail on the fret
9work of every leaf, the trumpeting surprise
10of the earth turning, returning.
11Amazing the way they sit there oohing and ahhing,
12behaving themselves and choking back their anger,
13while non-stop movies play behind their eyes
14scenes of unfiltered light
15and focused rage --
16God's handiwork, one of them piously announces --
17and maybe when you get to be that age
18you're willing to take the metaphors
19you get, just to keep going:
20dried sap, shrinkage, brittleness at the heart
21or else the blind unthinking leverage
22of custom, of perverse habit,
23assembling around a summons to praise
24what is fading, taking the corners
25quietly, making the best of things
RPO poem Editors: 
Ian Lancashire
RPO Edition: 
2010
Rhyme: 
Form: 
Special Copyright: 

"Fall" © copyright the Estate of Carol Shields. Printed gratis,
and specifically for <i>Representative Poetry Online</i>,
with permission of her Estate. Any other use,
including reproduction for any purposes,
educational or otherwise, will require explicit
written permission from the Estate of Carol Shields.