The First Sunday Morning in November

Purple leaves paste the ground like papier-mâché.
Gravity pulls the browning grass back to earth
with stillness so powerful nothing moves.

Even the trees hide death in plain sight. Tiny stems
hang tethered in time. The West Wind subsides
in the tilt of a burning leaf.

What do the children know about November,
the harvest moon, the silent stars, the birth and death
of a landscape holding its breath yellow?

I let them rise to their own conclusions
about a sky that hints light for one day,
how to sleep at night shine without the sun.

Valerie Smith

Valerie A. Smith is a PhD candidate in Poetry at Georgia State University and a graduate of the MA in Professional Writing at Kennesaw State University. Her work appears in Wayne Literary Review, SolsticeSouth 85, Call + Response, and The Auburn Avenue. 


  1. Delightful and highly artistic. A sheer joy to read and save.

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