Another Reluctance

By Annie Finch b. 1956 Annie Finch
Chestnuts fell in the charred season,
Fell finally, finding room
In air to open their old cases
So they gleam out from the gold leaves,
In the dusk now, where they dropped down.

I go watch them, waiting for winter,
Their husks open and holding on.
Those rusted rims are rigid=hard
And cling clean to the clear brown,

And the fall sun sinks soon,
And the day draws to its dark end,
.and the feet give up the gray walk,
no longer lingering, light gone,
and I am here and do not go home.

Hollow gifts to cold children:
The chestnuts they hid in small caches
Have gone hollow, their gleam gone,
Their grain gone, and the children are home.

Annie Finch, "Another Reluctance" 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 Living, Youth, Nature, Fall

Poetic Terms Free Verse

 Annie  Finch


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 Living, Youth, Nature, Fall

POET’S REGION U.S., New England

Poetic Terms Free Verse

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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