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