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Gay Writes

October

By Ked Kirkham

October tinges the valley.
Green ash burnished to gold,
Foothills redden with maples
And sumac,
The bench brightens
With the yellowing poplar.

Sunflowers have faded,
Paled Thistle are brittle
Even while Rabbit Bush
finds its glory.

What of you,
With this October sun?

I look back
Over seasons,
Over years.
October.
There,
With the dry and dusty sun
shorter days holding loosely their warmth.
The canal was down
The water darker, languid.
That bit of sand
Broad enough then to lie together,
Stretching,
Finally
To our lengths;
Comfortable
Finally,
In our silence;
Contented,
Finally. Our discovery
That you were thirty
But I would not be until November.

I submitted to your discipline,
You delighted in my openness;
Joining that October
Assured
That together could be here,
As much as
from where we’d come;
And our loneliness not
A closed door,
But a key.

October warmth seeped in
As we lingered,
Sleeping,
And forgetting
That October meant
You would go on,
While I
Would need to get back

To where I would learn
My error:
That loneliness
In October
Is a closed door,
A locked room;
That together is there,
Not here without you.

Gay Writes is a DiverseCity Series writing group, a program of SLCC’s Community Writing Center. The group meets the 2nd and 4th Mondays of every month, 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m., 210 E. 400 S., Ste. 8, Salt Lake.

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