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©2018 Barren Magazine. An Alt.Lit Introspective.

The Wind Plays Tricks On Me In September


by Elisabeth Horan

Long are the rhythms
of pain in the fall–
Single leaves
upon the wind float
then flip, I assume
them dead kin:
a tree frog a
thrush a
red squirrel a
monarch – my brethren I
saw them die every
day of June, & July,
now & again maple’s
fingers trick me by
and by until the rain
arrives in her encore
to blow them asunder;
to make forest litter–
bitter tannins dye
the Earth an end of
summer ochre.

Each drive I startle–so
sure I must have murdered
again, yet I sigh, lighter
from the knowledge:
in the fall, living things
take leave of me

And winter and death
in our evil city;
I rest until May; mummy
wrapped I endure the
suspended gallows;
breathe deep old fashioned
cemetery stones of
Civil War bones—my
skull is so cracked
& dull
& hollow.

Header photograph © Caroline Bardwell.

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