My poetry post has sat empty for two months. Yes, two whole months. I’m a slacker. What else can I say? It’s been at the bottom of my task list for the past two months. I’d start to work on it but, inevitably, I’d be interrupted by Barnaby taunting me with some form of contraband in his mouth. Last month, he was obsessed with the cardboard roll inside the roll of toilet paper. And this month, he’s hunting my scarves and rain jacket. He’s sneaky and quick, that one. Fortunately, he'll hand over anything for a spoonful of yogurt.
Earlier this week, I was out front pruning back some Japanese Coltsfoot leaves that had toppled over in the rain and onto the driveway. A blue sedan pulled up to my curb with a family of four inside and their dog. The man rolled down his window and waved me over to the car.
He looked over my shoulder at the poetry box and asked, “What gives?”
I hung my head with a smile and confessed, “I’ve been slacking. I’ve been meaning to get to it.”
“It’s just wrong to have an empty poetry box. I’ve been hoping to see someone out here so that I could ask about it. We loved the poems that you were putting in it. I even brought a copy of the E.E. Cummings poem home to my wife.”
“I carry your heart...very romantic,” his wife commented with a smile and touched his hand.
So, here is my new picture and poem in my poetry box. I promise to do my best to keep it full. I had no idea that it mattered so much to my neighbors.
Love in Autumn
It is already Autumn, and not in my heart only,
The leaves are on the ground,
Green leaves untimely browned,
The leaves bereft of Summer, my heart of Love left lonely.
Swift, in the masque of season, the moment of each mummer,
And even so fugitive Love’s hour, Love’s hour to live:
Yet, leaves, ye have had your rapture, and thou, poor heart, thy Summer!
By Arthur Symons