The Lost Country

Fall 2013 • Vol. 2, No. 2

issn 2326-5310 (online)

October Valley Journey

By Sarah Brown Weitzman

This work was published in the Fall 2013 issue of The Lost Country. You may purchase a copy of this issue from us or, if you prefer, from Amazon.

The creek swept cold
        and straight

where I turned
          to mount the hill path

running all the way
      to reach the crest
                  and take sudden

the whole shock
            of that autumn valley
                  in one surprise
                        of sight

the dogwood’s scarlet spread
        to maples
            the singed ash

elms exactly orange

among the paper birch
            one golden oak
                now coin silver

apples ruby late
            upon the branch

pines that do no turning
          as though this quarter meant to hold
                all hues of man’s seasons
from green

to full fruit and in between

in this last flamboyant protest
            against dying

but brought to me stealing
                          from homework

and after-school chores

that bond all may share
    through beauty.

But then running through fields
            of weeds
            tingling my town legs

past flurries of bees
          and brown butterflies

all wooing and winged
            like myself I fling
      down the hill into apple air

and musk of old baywood
            some hand had sawed
not far
          from potatoes unearthed
to dry to where

    straining against the fence
            are the farmer’s four horses.

Not the first untouched crystal
                    of winter
    nor spring’s green sameness

nor even summer’s academic freedom
      ever pleased me
  so as that October valley journey

in memory now become not journey
                but an end.

The farmer died.
      His family moved to the city.

That ground soon grew nothing
            humans eat.

The horses were sold
              for glue.