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November Too*

Do not dismiss November as a throw-away month, a collection of weeks that precedes and follows holidays or you may miss the revelation that November is, in fact, nature’s scrapbook filled with remembrance and recollection of this year nearly past. Sunny summer days can come in November, days so warm we turn our faces, eyes shut, to the sky and bare our arms, We cluck with surprise at lavender crocuses blooming again amid thick blankets of russet leaves, we cock our heads to listen to the beat of wings overhead as birds seek home (and often think “but didn’t we just hear them arriving this spring?”) We notice wintery black branches outlined against white clouds hurrying across the sky with the urgency of a mother late for pickup. Even the air is stunning, how can something invisible be defined by qualities like strong or crisp or crystalline. Frosty November mornings become balmy days, then clear, cold, cobalt nights crowded with stars and a restless moon that glides among them with the solitary grace of a lone swan searching for its mate. At day’s end black and coral skies sprawl unrestrained and joyous as the work of a child left alone in an art room. November dares us to name its rich, complex colors and duplicate its elegant patterns effortlessly made by weeds, vines, corners, shadows, and spiders. The only adequate response to November’s unrelenting beauty and art is this: shout praise praise for streams and puddles and marshes praise for maples and oaks and pines and cedars praise for crunchy brown leaf piles praise for shiny red wild rose hips shout praise for gold everywhere. Praise to you, little leaf spiraling confidently through the air, lingering long moments between tree and ground, obviously searching for the perfect landing place, well done!! And praise to you, November, for your promises made and honored each year: Change is coming soon.

This glory will return. And the world will be different by then. CHRISTIE LOWRANCE, NOVEMBER 2016 Note: "November Too" is an elaboration on an earlier poem titled “This November” which was based on an earlier poem titled “November.” Apparently November resonates with me.

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