The First Chill of Fall
by Ray Fowler, MD
Copyright Jan 1, 1986

(Time in Space Home)

the first chill of fall
released my singed breast,
newly baked in August’s oven
and roasted by the simmer of September

fires without and flames within,
hearty ghost betwixt them,
searing specter,
listing at last

too crisped these spent neurons,
processed, diced, sautéed
by the boiling tresses
braided in the working world

oncoming masses: bleeding, crying, wheezing, dying;
complaining, straining, pleading, entreating,
until the cup cannot be drained,
and to ransom freedom, I must away

not this way in early days,
stripling’s sauciness daring, strong,
if blur-focused, uncarved,
unspoiled to base blight of hope piercing life

entwining circles, wild webs,
tangled even as thread is spun,
knotted about life’s essence,
choking out caprice

‘til, in march and clamor
of stifling duty,
here to be and there to do,
loss of freedom, cross of service

again, and later, again,
eyes cast to smoky window,
heeding as nature flows to the sunset,
leading me, pulling me...