Autumn Ambivalence

A Poem by Karen Kelsay

We sit near the stream edge, under the pine’s
brittle fingers. Our collective breath
drapes between low branches

like a foggy sheet across autumn’s arms.
You spot a black bear in the distance;
I marvel how a sky so blue

can be so cold. Daylight has become
brief, the valley blurred into a ribbon
of frayed leaves. At dusk I see

Denali’s shadow from my balcony,
moose eat fuchsias by the backyard deck.
Stalks of rhubarb twist

and bend to earth, breathing
a chilly sigh. No matter how many
winters I greet, this place

will always seem foreign to me.
Everything lies exhausted, the beauty
too vast, God too near.

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