PoetryEtc Featured Poet: Mark Weiss   

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In my last New England Autumn I played the odds
the night first frost was called for and left
the rest of the tomatoes
unharvested. They somehow
survived, bright summery red
against the firs and grass
in the waning light of my garden clearing,
the swamp?maples in the streambed
the maples beside it
and the vivid undergrowth in the pine?duff
flaming their various golds and purples.
When I finally plucked them
at the last moment before hard frost they made a sauce
to last the winter. Now
in this season of death, my first such,
my father dead, and Bill, and Richard,
I make the yearly sauce across the continent, where nothing
as dangerous as Autumn
ever seems to happen. I think to make
an emblem of that last
harvest before winter,
as if my father and Richard
had not strangled on their own fluids
and lovely, curious and fastidious Bill,
whose presence itself could heal the wounds of childhood,
had not turned hideous in the act of dying.