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Fourth Autumn
Scott Owens


This November Sawyer stands 
in a shower of leaves, first 
the ones falling, then those 
the blower sprays her with. Defiant, 
joyful, unafraid of noise 
or getting lost in any storm, 
she lies down, begs to be buried 
beneath the trappings of decay, 
oblivious to suggestion or symbol. 
It’s so far she has come from three 
autumns ago, sitting in a backpack 
while I raked leaves into piles, 
or two years ago riding in the wheelbarrow
between dumping and filling up,
or even last year’s first jumping
into massive piles of oak and maple.
And now, while she is unconcerned
with irony, I can’t escape it myself,
such joy, such flouting in the face of death.

This poem first appeared in Innisfree Poetry Review.
Used here with the author’s permission.

Scott Owens is the author of 20 collections of poetry and the recipient of numerous awards. Professor of Poetry at Lenoir Rhyne University and former editor of two poetry journals, he is the founder of Poetry Hickory, a monthly reading series. Scott's newest collection is ‘Round Here: Images from and Near Catawba County. He lives in Hickory, North Carolina, where he owns and operates Taste Full Beans Coffeehouse and Gallery.Learn more about Scott here.



Post New Comment:
Glen Sorestad:
A very moving poem to start my day. Thanks, Scott. I love the win perspectives unveiled, the ironic close.
Posted 11/03/2011 10:00 AM
Yes, flouting is just the right word, found in few poems. 'Such flouting in the face of death.' Yes, and the passage of time is handled well in this poem.
Posted 11/03/2011 09:40 AM
Posted 11/03/2011 09:20 AM
A nice surprise to find a poem by Scott here this morning. He captures the moment and the way parents think.
Posted 11/03/2011 08:13 AM
What a great poem. Capturing two perspectives so eloquently: the child and the adult on a continuum. Thank you for this insight.
Posted 11/03/2011 06:29 AM

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