My Autumn Leaves

By Bruce Weigl b. 1949 Bruce Weigl
I watch the woods for deer as if I’m armed.
I watch the woods for deer who never come.   
I know the hes and shes in autumn
rendezvous in orchards stained with fallen   
apples’ scent. I drive my car this way to work   
so I may let the crows in corn believe
it’s me their caws are meant to warn,
and snakes who turn in warm and secret caves

they know me too. They know the boy
who lives inside me still won’t go away.
The deer are ghosts who slip between the light   
through trees, so you may only hear the snap   
of branches in the thicket beyond hope.   
I watch the woods for deer, as if I’m armed.

Bruce Weigl, “My Autumn Leaves” from The Unraveling Strangeness. Copyright © 2002 by Bruce Weigl. Reprinted with the permission of Grove/Atlantic, Inc.,

Source: The Unraveling Strangeness: Poems (Grove/Atlantic Inc., 2002)

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Poet Bruce Weigl b. 1949

POET’S REGION U.S., Midwestern

Subjects Activities, Animals, Fall, Sports & Outdoor Activities, Nature

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Soon after turning eighteen, Bruce Weigl enlisted in the Army and served in Vietnam for one year, beginning in December 1967. He was awarded the Bronze Star and returned to his hometown of Lorain, Ohio, where he enrolled in Lorain County Community College. As Weigl states in his best-selling prose memoir, The Circle of Hanh (2000), “The paradox of my life as a writer is that the war ruined my life and in return gave me my . . .

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SUBJECT Activities, Animals, Fall, Sports & Outdoor Activities, Nature

POET’S REGION U.S., Midwestern

Poetic Terms Sonnet

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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