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October light (for Karen)

Today, the light sees its way clear through me.

Summer remnants: my back porch ease; the red maple, nearly bare-boned beside the gilded birch trees. The wind turns, ushers in the first faint taste of woodsmoke, turns again, and tows the cloud towns through the last sterling unremitting blue. Whirling into a cold trance, October's dare is a clarity that makes the air shimmer and the eye dance.

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Winter is tomorrow, a broad white astringency. It pulls down the trees, the sky, nothing left to waste. Earth-stoked, winter smolders long, like memory. Gather the papers.Fold my chair.Go inside.

Yet today, the light sees its way clear through me. In dark eyes it takes up residence. I hurry to tell you this late discovery: we are home, you and I.