68: The Heat of Autumn by Jane Hirshfield

The heat of autumn

is different from the heat of summer.

One ripens apples, the other turns them to cider.

One is a dock you walk out on,

the other the spine of a thin swimming horse

and the river each day a full measure colder.

A man with cancer leaves his wife for his lover.

Before he goes she straightens his belts in the closet,

rearranges the socks and sweaters inside the dresser

by color. That’s autumn heat:

her hand placing silver buckles with silver,

gold buckles with gold, setting each

on the hook it belongs on in a closet soon to be empty,

and calling it pleasure.


This poem can be found in the volume, After.

Think about how the poem made you feel. When you consider your life, do you find yourself in one season vs. the other?

May you live out another beautiful poem in the collection of your life today, and we’ll see you again tomorrow.

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