A Crown of Autumn Leaves

By Annie Finch b. 1956 Annie Finch

For Mabon (fall equinox), Sept. 21

Our voices press
from us
and twine
around the year's
fermenting wine

Yellow fall roars
Over the ground.
Loud, in the leafy sun that pours
Liquid through doors,
Yellow, the leaves twist down

as the winding
of the vine
pulls our curling
voices—

Glowing in wind and change,
The orange leaf tells

How one more season will alter and range,
Working the strange
Colors of clamor and bells

In the winding
of the vine
our voices press out
from us
to twine

When autumn gathers, the tree
That the leaves sang
Reddens dark slowly, then, suddenly free,
Turns like a key,
Opening air where they hang

and the winding
of the vine
makes our voices
turn and wind
with the year’s
fermented wine

One of the hanging leaves,
Deeply maroon,
Tightens its final hold, receives,
Finally weaves
Through, and is covered soon

in the winding
of the vine—

Holding past summer's hold,
Open and strong,
One of the leaves in the crown is gold,
Set in the cold
Where the old seasons belong.

Here is my crown
Of winding vine,
Of leaves that dropped,
That fingers twined,
another crown
to yield and shine
with a year’s
fermented wine.


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Poet Annie Finch b. 1956

POET’S REGION U.S., New England

Subjects Nature, Summer, Fall, Trees & Flowers

 Annie  Finch

Biography

Annie Finch is the author or editor of more than twenty books of poetry, plays, translation, literary essays, textbooks, and anthologies, including the poetry collections Eve (1997), Calendars (2003), and Spells: New and Selected Poems (2012), and the long poems The Encyclopedia of Scotland (1982) and Among the Goddesses: An Epic Libretto in Seven Dreams (2009). Calendars was shortlisted for the Foreword Poetry Book of the Year . . .

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Nature, Summer, Fall, Trees & Flowers

POET’S REGION U.S., New England

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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