With this poem by David Blumenfeld we continue our series of original fiction or poetry by writers who either published their first book at 40 or after, or who have yet to publish a book. Writers interested in submitting work should see our guidelines.
Jogging slowly in the autumn sun at 84,
waving to runners who sprint by me;
wishing for greater speed as they
leave me far behind; a mile or so ahead now
just a dot or two in the morning mist,
out on the path where the pale pink
and purple Muhlenbergia grow. Delicate
and frail, those gossamer beauties sway
gently as I pass, as if to reassure me:
“Take your time,” they seem to say.
“No need to hurry. It’s the end of the season.
Winter is on its way.”
It is the end of the season. In a week or two
when a chill is in the air, their tiny pink and
purple flowers will turn a weary copper and die.
I’ll amble by them, wishing their gauzy threads
were still the soft pink and purple that speaks
of the gentleness of life. But they’ll return
next season, for they are only asleep.
And I’ll greet them, marveling at
their reawakening, grateful to see them
if only for another season or two
and grateful for the one long life
I’ve had, content to know that
winter is on its way and the
end of the season
David Blumenfeld (aka Dean Flowerfield) is an 84-year-old emeritus philosophy professor and associate dean who only lately began publishing nonfiction, poetry and children’s literature. His recent publications appear in Best New True Crime Stories: Well-Mannered Crooks, Rogues & Criminals; Mono.; Beyond Words; Balloons Lit. Journal; The Caterpillar; the other side of hope; Sport Literate; Better Than Starbucks; Smarty Pants; Drunk Monkeys; Carmina Magazine; The 3rd Act; Holyflea!; and The Parliament.