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News Welcome, Autumn

BEYOND THE RED RIVER

By Thomas McGrath

The birds have flown their summer skies to the south,

And the flower-money is drying in the banks of bent grass

Which the bumble bee has abandoned. We wait for a winter lion,

Body of ice-crystals and sombrero of dead leaves.

 

A month ago, from the salt engines of the sea,

A machinery of early storms rolled toward the holiday houses

Where summer still dozed in the pool-side chairs, sipping

An aging whiskey of distances and departures.

 

Now the long freight of autumn goes smoking out of the land.

My possibles are all packed up, but still I do not leave.

I am happy enough here, the Dakota drifts wild in the universe,

Where the prairie is starting to shake in the surf of the winter dark.