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MUSED Literary Magazine.

Cannon Cottage, September

Beth Spencer

This patient house
has emptied now her generous arms
Finn is starting school and isnít thinking
of the grassy tongue of yard that falls
from wooden steps
and twists around the rock
to lick the lake.

Within the living room
in black and white
near the corner on the bookshelf
achingly young and hopeful
Mother, Sam, and Ruthie
whisper together in triptych frame.

In the city it is summer still
but north of Highway 64
Autumnís teeth, with measured mouth
bite just enough to warn us: leave.

This morning, fog subdues the lake
and wraps the world for winter.
Before we go, we stack the row of porch chairs
draw them away from mended screens,
then stop to watch the water where
a fisherman arcs long last casts.

And when weíre gone
in upstairs dusk
near Auntie Susanís bureau
a fireflyís green signal, a final summer hope.