First Fall

Maggie Smith isn’t just a great actress, she’s also a great poet. I already posted one of her poems back in March and I still highly recommend it. This one is written from the perspective of a parent, whose walking around with a baby. Even though the descriptions are quite lyrical and beautiful, it’s the ending that really touched me. However, I didn’t expect anything less from the brilliant Maggie Smith.

I’m your guide here. In the evening-dark
morning streets, I point and name.
Look, the sycamores, their mottled,
paint-by-number bark. Look, the leaves
rusting and crisping at the edges.
I walk through Schiller Park with you
on my chest. Stars smolder well
into daylight. Look, the pond, the ducks,
the dogs paddling after their prized sticks.
Fall is when the only things you know
because I’ve named them
begin to end. Soon I’ll have another
season to offer you: frost soft
on the window and a porthole
sighed there, ice sleeving the bare
gray branches. The first time you see
something die, you won’t know it might
come back. I’m desperate for you
to love the world because I brought you here.

Maggie Smith


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