November’s Chalice

I was, I think, a hurried man.
To get to where and what my goal;
A confidence, a worked-out plan,
An inside-out, and fevered soul,

When she November’s chalice brought
For me to sip the honeyed wine
I’d wanted, and through seasons sought,
But that was hers, and never mine.

She was, I see now, flourishing
Upon the edge of certainty;
An interlude for nourishing
A strength that lay in dormancy,

And I, I was a puzzle piece
She had to lay upon a board
To find her own way out; release
The limits she had kept, and stored,

For she, when she was just a girl,
Had built a picture in her mind
Of what was not to be her world,
A summer costume-tale confined —

    But I saw autumn: elegance,
    And she responded to my eyes:
    It wasn’t me she ever saw,
    But her own, pure reflection

    Within the chalice gleaming red,
    Of falling hard and straight surprise
    I’d taken in before I knew
    What lay in that direction —

It was, I know, not all that long
Before I felt December’s blue
Come crashing down in loneliness;
But what was left, and what is true

Is that what we take in is ours.
For some things lie beyond regret:
Like autumn days, and once-drunk wine,
That aging hearts remember


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