by Paula Tohline Calhoun
A dwindling summer is the bittersweet prelude to fall.
I watch it all, just now, and sense already, on the tip of
my tongue, the metallic taste of winter. In my mind’s eye:
the deep greens and subtler hues fading to brown, drying up,
the sharp blades of grass pricking the soles of my stubborn-bare feet;
and know that in due time, snow will smother all that’s left of the now.
My ears prepare for the day they will be turned to the laboring creak of
ice-burdened limbs, and bent on the splintering crack,
the chuffing thud of branches on the snow-shrouded ground below.
Such insidious, gray thoughts are snatched away
by the appearance of a swallow-tailed butterfly.
Slower than the hastening summer and on-rushing winter,
she makes her errant way from leaf to blossom, in full knowledge
of the passing of her season of glory.
The colors revealed on her first morning still shine on this her last.
I wonder at such persistence through the fraying nicks of daily struggle,
and sigh at the beauty – at the constant push and pull against the wayward
currents of air – of her split and tattered wings.
Paula Tohline Calhoun is a 61 years old, and a life-long lover and writer of poetry – as long as she has been able to read and write, that is. She started at age 4 when her Dad first read to her from Ogden Nash’s collection. She is currently working on a collection in which she is collaborating with a poet from South Africa. This collection (untitled as yet) is her first publishing effort. Her poetry interests are very eclectic, and she employs a number of styles – whatever strikes her fancy.