Featured Poem 10/14/05

october revolution

autumn staged a coup last night
blew in like a cold wind
that was a cold wind
left bodies strewn in the street
like so many dead leaves
that were dead leaves
and toppled a decrepit summer
still clinging to power
in mid october

the first signs of revolution
came a couple weeks ago now
set fire to an oak tree here
torched an aspen there
and most of us didn't even notice
just one or two trees going up
in red and orange and yellow

then summer cracked down hard
came in all thick and muggy
and the people all pretended it
would last
and last
even when the last refugees
had finished flying south
even when the last trees
had been painted
and burned
with the revolution's colors

we were cleaning house just yesterday
moved out all the furniture
cleaned the carpets
dusted for pests
thinking all the while
"what a fine warm day"

but the wind rose up last night
spilled bloody leaves from the branches
left construction signs like dissidents
dead in the gutter
and ran the warmth right out of town

now there's martial law
and no one gathers in the parks
now there's censorship on the streets
and no one dares show any skin

in a couple weeks
we'll all be used to it
sure, some of us will grumble
but we'll all be wearing sweaters
in the revolution's colors
and we'll all be stepping back
in unison
marching back
an hour
in time
into the dark

and as for autumn
the regime won't be so bad
we can live with this
but a revolution never lasts
and before we know it
we'll hear the rumors
and whispers
the whispered winds that say:
winter is coming

Jeremy Strandberg

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