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Slipping

by: William Reichard

A fact of summer:
it slips into autumn, sags a bit.
This was the hottest July
on record, a good excuse
to sit indoors, read books,
contemplate a shifting metabolism.
When the temperatures lift,
we move into the garden.
Of course there is wreckage.
The storms were violent this year.
The winds flattened trees,
left ostrich ferns broken.
The birdhouse in the river birch
survived, but there’s no sign
of the inhabitants.
Autumn is all about cutting back.
Eating less. Growing hard and thin.
Me with my pruning shears,
a growing pile of spent flowers
and wrong branches,
a trunk full of brush for
the city compost site.
The beauty there is what
we’ll find next spring:
rich black soil where
all we left was waste.