By Lori R. Lopez

There is no scourge like Autumn’s descent
A widow-hag who moans and staggers a bit
To claim the living in a ghastly shroud
A drab lengthy veil she trails over ground

Dragged through mire and brambled spaces
The raggedy fen where unburied remains
Enrich loam trod by a gaunt Femme Fatale
Pacing Gothic ruins of prior seasons

How crisp and dainty the tracks of colors
Tumbled in her wake as she hobbles the earth
Reminding that even beauty must wilt
And beyond her steps come frost and snow

What was green and ripe now lying withered
Dry as September bones; the remains of a crop
Wasted to naught, scattered and preserved
By November’s cold.  Forget them not . . .

’Tis the moment for witches and woebegones
To rise out of spells:  conjurings, enchantments
The Harvest Moon’s long gilded shadow lured
Through the reaping of souls, whispers of grain

Shivering in a cool breath of October wind
As orange and brown tones prevail.  Festooned
Till December grays when raptor wings beat
Their furies aloft, toward the Twilight Sinistre

Yet this is the time most memorable to those
Residing on the edge, whose hearts beat wilder
Who see the shades darker and heed the nightcalls —
The hoots and screeches.  Voices of Nocturne

We dance and delight at the tunes of a forest
Bleak ballads of a graveyard, haunted abodes
And wait three-fourths of the year for the world
To resemble us again and speak our language

Impatient for Bats, Black Cats to be honored
And Pumpkins to grin as kids demand their due!
Gloriously at home among Spiders and Cobwebs
Embraced by kindred spirits in the lachrymose Fall.

Lori R. Lopez is an Elgin and Rhysling-nominated poet who enjoys wearing hats and being offbeat. Most of the time, she disguises herself as an Author and Illustrator living in Southern California with two sons and three cats (not to mention the afore-mentioned hats). She tends to be driven mad by the ideas in her head she can’t get to yet. Lori has been published in a number of magazines and anthologies. Her books include The Dark Mister SnarkLeery LaneAn Ill Wind Blows, and Darkverse: The Shadow Hours. You can learn more about the strange creations that she could get to at!

Published 10/29/20

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