by Janet E. Irvin
The hummingbirds have all but gone.
One last good feeding and they will chitter
goodbye, cock tiny heads, wing away.
Garden beds lie sated, their runway done,
the once-sturdy stems reduced to leafy litter,
a compost heap of marigold bouquet.
I love fall, but as I stand, a human gnome
among the golden queens of wildflower glow,
I recognize the lament of dying things,
the shiver beneath the leaf. Unbidden, a moan
escapes my throat and on the cool air flows,
smoke-like, into a purple-aster ring
of sculpted fields and autumn’s embroidered art.
Melancholy, I fold summer into my scrapbook heart.
Janet E. Irvin is a career educator and the award-winning author of four mystery/thriller novels: The Dark End of the Rainbow, The Rules of the Game, The Strange Disappearance of Rose Stone, and A Principle of Light, and BROKEN. Her short stories, essays, and poems have appeared in a variety of print and online publications, including Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine, Sherlock Holmes Mystery Magazine, FLIGHTS, Nexus Literary Journal, and MockTurtleZine. Irvin and her husband reside in Springboro, Ohio, where she serves on the park board.