Day 22: Autumn Villanelle

AutumnI wrote the following piece two years ago as part of a spontaneous “Villanelle Throw-down” with Holly Ordway in the backwoods of Texas. What I was doing in the middle of Who-Knows-Where, TX is the subject of another story. And it is not an irrelevant story, as it has to do with C.S. Lewis, whose death we remember and life we honor on this day.

But suffice it to say, Holly was game, and it was all in good fun. Although this poem references October, the sentiment of learning to pray as I wait for winter is yet timely.

Autumn Villanelle

Burnt orange is the color of the day
that drops a lazy leaf upon my floor.
Wait for winter as we learn to pray

that weathermen can keep the snow at bay.
Notice when you open up the door:
Burnt orange is the color of the day.

Children laughing high up on the hay,
apple air beckoning, what is more?
We wait for winter, slowly learn to pray

with thanks for brilliance that will fade away.
Our hungry eyes in memory will store
burnt orange, the color of the day.

October rushes in as if she’s late
and we can’t dance until she takes the floor.
No, wait for winter as we learn to pray

and slow the dance to match the leafy way.
Don’t hold too tight, but to the mind restore:
Burnt orange is the color of this day,
but wait for winter as we learn to pray.

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