Dana Gioia

(24 December 1950 / Hawthorne, California)

Emigre in Autumn


Walking down the garden path
From the house you do not own,
Once again you think of how
Cool the autumns were at home.
Dressed as if you had just left
The courtyard of the summer palace,
Walk the boundaries of the park,
Count the steps you take each day -
Miles that span no distances,
Journeys in sunlight toward the dark.

Sit and watch the daylight play
Idly on the tops of leaves
Glistening overhead in autumn's
Absolute dominion.
Nothing lost by you excels
These empires of sunlight.
But even here the subtle breeze
Plots with underlying shadows.
One gust of wind and suddenly
The sun is falling from the trees.

Submitted: Friday, January 03, 2003

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