Samhain

By Annie Finch b. 1956 Annie Finch

(The Celtic Halloween)

In the season leaves should love,
since it gives them leave to move
through the wind, towards the ground
they were watching while they hung,
legend says there is a seam
stitching darkness like a name.

Now when dying grasses veil
earth from the sky in one last pale
wave, as autumn dies to bring
winter back, and then the spring,
we who die ourselves can peel
back another kind of veil

that hangs among us like thick smoke.
Tonight at last I feel it shake.
I feel the nights stretching away
thousands long behind the days
till they reach the darkness where
all of me is ancestor.

I move my hand and feel a touch
move with me, and when I brush
my own mind across another,
I am with my mother's mother.
Sure as footsteps in my waiting
self, I find her, and she brings

arms that carry answers for me,
intimate, a waiting bounty.
"Carry me." She leaves this trail
through a shudder of the veil,
and leaves, like amber where she stays,
a gift for her perpetual gaze.

Annie Finch, "Samhain" from Eve, published by Carnegie Mellon University Press. Copyright © 1997 by Annie Finch.  Reprinted by permission of the author.

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Poet Annie Finch b. 1956

POET’S REGION U.S., New England

Subjects Relationships, Family & Ancestors, Nature, 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 Relationships, Family & Ancestors, Nature, Fall, Trees & Flowers

POET’S REGION U.S., New England

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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