The small town brooded.
Even bakeries smelt cold, disinfected,
and the bitumen grey of the footpaths
had taken over the air,
egged on by Autumn (but no one attempted
to take a walk in the sky).
I brooded too as I stood in line
at a post office too defeated to recall
the romance of philately:
it was easier to buy a pink toy camera
than it was a stamp vivid in its own miniature world
and capable of singing imagination
down into our cells.
Elsewhere, paint peeled on a narrow church;
a wind stern in its breadth —
it had looted that from the murdered Summer —
praised its Maker coolly; and a man
jump-started his red car on a hill
as if trying to ignite in the engine of his life
a spark of something to defy the season with,
but as the car started
it was clear both to him and to me
that invading Autumn had conquered again:
all we could do was enlisten.