In the end it turned out to be about five degrees warmer today than had been predicted. Tomorrow is supposed to be much the same as today, though not as windy. I got rid of those fallen leaves the other day just in time to make room for a new mess of them. I won't know just how many until tomorrow's morning sun reveals them, but so far there is quite an impressive strew of them. I'll try to get them cleaned up before the next rain, which the forecast is now tentatively predicting for a week from Tuesday. Until then the days are all expected to be pretty warm.
This persistent mildness is pleasant, but has me a bit worried about whether or not we'll be getting a winter at all this year. I know that such a year will arrive eventually, but I'm hoping it won't be this year. I find myself imagining winter lately, even though autumn has barely begun. Considering the fact that I like autumn far more than I do winter this is a bit strange, and I have no idea why the thought has begun to occupy my mind, unless it is that fear at the back of it that winter itself might one day be lost (here, at least) to the changing climate. That would be a sad loss.
by Ruth Stone
The ten o'clock train to New York;
coaches like loaves of bread powdered with snow.
Steam wheezes between the couplings.
Stripped to plywood, the station's cement standing room
imitates a Russian novel. It is now that I remember you.
Your profile becomes the carved handle of a letter knife.
Your heavy-lidded eyes slip under the seal of my widowhood.
It is another raw winter. Stray cats are suffering.
Starlings crows the edges of chimneys.
It is a drab misery that urges me to remember you.
I think about the subjugation of women and horses,
Brutal exposure. Weather that forces, that strips.
In our time we met in ornate stations
arching up with nineteenth-century optimism.
I remember you running beside the train waving goodbye.
I can produce a facsimile of you standing
behind a column of polished oak to surprised me.
Am I going toward you or away from you on this train?
Discarded junk of other minds is strewn beside the tracks.
Mounds of rusting wire. Grotesque pop-art of dead motors.
Senile warehouses. The train passes a station.
Fresh people standing on the platform;
their faces expecting something.
I feel their entire histories ravish me.