Early October Snow

October 29, 2014

Photo courtesy Jim Ernsberger

Introduction by Ted Kooser: Here’s a lovely poem for this lovely month, by Robert Haight, who lives in Michigan.

Early October Snow

It will not stay.
But this morning we wake to pale muslin
stretched across the grass.
The pumpkins, still in the fields, are planets
shrouded by clouds.
The Weber wears a dunce cap
and sits in the corner by the garage
where asters wrap scarves
around their necks to warm their blooms.
The leaves, still soldered to their branches
by a frozen drop of dew, splash
apple and pear paint along the roadsides.
It seems we have glanced out a window
into the near future, mid-December, say,
the black and white photo of winter
carefully laid over the present autumn,
like a morning we pause at the mirror
inspecting the single strand of hair
that overnight has turned to snow.

American Life in Poetry is made possible by The Poetry Foundation (www.poetryfoundation.org), publisher of Poetry magazine. It is also supported by the Department of English at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln. Poem copyright ©2013 by Robert Haight from his most recent book of poems, Feeding Wild Birds, Mayapple Press, 2013. (Lines two and six are variations of lines by Herb Scott and John Woods.) Poem reprinted by permission of Robert Haight and the publisher. Introduction copyright 2014 by The Poetry Foundation. The introduction’s author, Ted Kooser, served as United States Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress from 2004-2006.


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  1. Hi Kathy,

    This was so well done, and I know exactly what he is talking about. It happens the same way here.

    Thank you so much for your visit and your comment. You helped to make me feel better.

    Kathy M.

  2. Dear Kathy, Will my new work I've not had the time to visit the blogs that mean so much to me. How I love this pause to honor some October magic as we are on our way to November. The leaf on its bed of snow is charming in its Simplicity . Best, Rita

  3. Rita--Thanks for taking the time to stop by and catch up! I loved this image of the leaf in the snow--it fit the poem so nicely.

  4. Kathy--Glad you enjoyed the poem, and that my visit to your blog was helpful. Hang in there!

  5. Oh Kathy - gorgeous poem...think it may be something that comes true for us Saturday - we are hearing whispers of it. Take care and have a great week-end.

  6. Stay warm, Debbie! Hope you have a great weekend, too.