I recently noticed I have written quite a few poems about November, a few more than I have written about the month of March. It is interesting that both months are on the cusp of great change here in Michigan: November on the cusp of winter and March on the cusp of spring. Other poets write of November, too; see, for example, ‘My November Guest’ by Robert Frost or ‘November’ by Emily Dickinson along with scads of other November poems by many poets from different eras. So I’m going to post a few of my poems that touch on November here, in a post that doesn’t fit into the regular ‘a new poem every Monday’ schedule. Consider this a bonus post. My wife and I have just returned from a trip to Italy, and I’ll relate a story or two from that trip after my poems.
[November’s morning sun] November's morning sun seems unsure whether to remain until grudgingly deciding, “OK, but you'll get no more than this." Help us, Lord; for such pale light is sometimes not enough to keep us trudging forward and into winter’s maw. WE MARK OUT LIVES (for Bruce and Nancy) The December field is deserted cornstalks lean drunkenly abandoned to the cold alone in the lonely. In November noisy raucous cranes were here feasting on the harvest’s spillage as their inevitable journey drew near. In springtime the cranes will return a pair circling the sodden field sounding a dinosaur call to claim their spot. By Mothers Day eggs will hatch and colts will be cared for until next November's riotous departure. (from a poem in progress) Cold rain on Thanksgiving is predicted to last all day. Not as cold as the time I went to the parade in Detroit holding children too young to care about floats, tears freezing on their cheeks. Never again, I vowed, and I never did. Forgive me, Detroit, I have loved you in other ways.
Funny things I heard Americans says while on a trip to Italy:
“I can’t wait to get back to a big pot of American coffee.” Sure, because Folger’s beats a Caffe Americano or Espresso any day of the week.
“Number 1 or number 2: same price?” Asked repeatedly by an older American man at the front of a line to use an attended public toilet. The attendant had no idea what the man was talking about as he held up first one finger and then two, all the while looking around for someone to intervene and help him. Did he fear being overcharged? Was he trying to save half a euro by claiming the need for one while performing the other? I’ll be damned if I was claiming national kinship or otherwise getting involved.
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A new poem every Monday!
Joseph Neely, all rights reserved