The Echo of What Remains Collected Poems of Wanda Lea Brayton
In the small span between hours' passing,
the beautiful redhead lost her lustrous leaf-locks
to brutal gestures of a cold northern wind -
left suddenly bald as though having endured
a cruel and unexpected session of chemotherapy,
her now-naked branches shuddered, then stilled.
Winter came earlier this year than last, which came early as well -
it invaded Autumn's one brief month of glory, delivering dull dread.
The axis, having shifted again, tilted the world in spite of us,
ignoring our pleas for warm colors and the more gradual accumulation
of comforting sweaters and simmering stews, plunging our hearts
into its heavily-iced waters, where we founder and flounder in disbelief.
We cannot trust our eyes always,
but our wretched bones know the truth of it all,
even when instincts are indecisive.
The blue sky turned gray in a moment, clouds thick with intent.
Behind its dark mask, stars pulse their wan, ancient lights,
wanting to not be forgotten.
Yesterday, an omen of birds flew back and forth across rooftops,
crying out a scattered feathering of confusion and fright,
predicting this dire day of blinding whiteness,
fallen and sinking long fingers into unready soil,
covering the tenacious green that remains.