There’s a seeming that, perhaps,
winter has lost its way, and that
summer still holds these early
December days in bondage,
delaying its slow retreat while
fragrances rise then fall over
abandoned beds, leaving a
profusion of asters that spill
out and over the lawn like a
pale breath and still appear
eager to grow and resist their
ending, overwhelming the
bird-bath’s mosaic basin,
the flickering wicks of salvia
and leather-skinned hostas
that cluster together even
as they toss their floppy,
over-sized skirts out upon the
grass, feeling their way in
lowering sun across the shadow
of a red-as-a-wax-seal maple
with a persistent itch to grow,
whose tapered branches still
hold far more leaves than not
and maybe that is all we can
ask for, to praise such sublime
endings and remain present
and bountiful in the going.


John Muro has authored two volumes of poems — In the Lilac Hour and Pastoral Suite — and he is a three-time Pushcart Prize nominee, Best of the Net nominee and a 2023 Grantchester Prize recipient. John’s work has appeared in Acumen, Delmarva, Sky Island and the Valparaiso Review and elsewhere.