Northern Autumn and Southern Sun

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The cold blows north and the city falls

into the cycles of a leafless world.

It feeds off the brick, licks the shoes,

tastes the cotton of jackets,

gnaws hands clutching the last warmth

of summer close to their heart,

cuddling its last embers,

huddling to the next soul

with faint fires when it goes out.

 

Dogs on the leash paw the air

delighting in distinguishing

the smells of life and death all around.

Autumn is their rooting season,

their time to sniff for the rat

hidden in the pre-collection trash,

to proudly drop the last migrating Warbler

wounded by the reflection of sun on glass,

at their masters feet in the remaining

scent of the Great Wolf Hunt.

 

With each gust their master’s minds go south

to thoughts of changeless sunshine,

snowbirds migrating in caravans

to The Villages filled with plantation magnolias

scarred with the memories of rope swings

and before that, feet swaying in the dirt,

never mindful that it was the African eye

who first caught the non-reflective sun

and bleached skin, the first shudder of cold.

 

The taste of cold on fingers and faces

etches their tundra souls

and in the rubbing of hands,

the warm breath of air in palms,

they almost feel the sun again.

They sense something invigorating,

thrilling in feeling the right amount of cold,

the wind howling  in the cave of their hearts.

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