Don Welch

Indian Summer

From Inklings: Poems Old and New. Sandhill Press, 2001.

Somehow it is never hard work
to mourn well in October,
Indian summer being a time
of easy mourning.
We remember the smell
of leaves burning, the smoke
drifting over the fields,
angels of wood.
In October the moon, hanging,
always comes down a little,
and a woman almost forms,
then forms just below the hills.
As if she is holding out something,
as if what she holds smells
of fields, of sage and corn,
and she’s coming up toward the house.
And somehow we feel
we have always known her.
In her gourd cup she carries
the moon, there is a musk
on her dried flowers,
and the moments of her voice
hang down like grapes.
And since we are alone
we can suffer such sentiment,
there in the twilight,
the road past our house
a long door asking us in.

Used with the permission of Don Welch