“walking home from autumn” by John Wiley

something about autumn
feels early —
late afternoon
seems like dawn,
a starting
instead of an ending,
a starting — at the end,

something is starting.
I step out my back door
into the ravishing transfiguration
of maples, oaks, birches,

arm into my jacket —

the late sun builds new power
into my old shoulders
until I could carry anything,
and I begin to walk —

through autumn’s dawn-seeming,
golden, late afternoon,
into the frosted, fog-white night
toward a shimmering morning
I will never see —

I’ll be home long before then.



John Wiley started out as a ballet dancer and turned to poetry (poetry being much easier on the body) when his knees gave out for good. His work has appeared in Terror House Magazine, Detritus, Outsider Poetry, and Montreal Writes among other journals.  He lives in a California beach town and works in his wife’s audiology practice.

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