virginia.edu
Lifetime Learning

Seasons Change Before We’re Ready

Just as autumn wanes and winter draws near, so do the seasons of our lives ebb and flow. Debra Nystrom, Professor of Creative Writing in the Department of English in the College and Graduate School of Arts & Sciences at the University of Virginia, gives us the poem, “Seasons Change Before We’re Ready.”

We welcome your thoughts below.

 

SEASONS CHANGE BEFORE WE’RE READY

though all along without noticing we’ve witnessed
……………………….the light’s weakening
……………….felt a chill on our skin at dusk after days still
………warm with trees’ sudden flames the flickering I’d wakened to thinking
……………………………….her voice passed unseen like smoke
………………………………………..outside the window again

or from the attic the smoke we boxed-in
……………………….with scalloped-edged black-and-white photographs
……………….saved from the house that burned the fall after she died
………pictures not looked through since
……………………………….still holding the smell of ash from the season she vanished
………………………………………..none of these are the words that woke me

then drifted back to the dark her voice lives inside
……………………….and her face the first I came to know as face
……………….returned to shadows wavering too dim to distinguish
………though I hear their sounds from this distance
……………………………….as if listening underwater
………………………………………..to waves lifting above one after another

deep blue ivory-crested under moonlight crossed
……………………….by clouds rippling in wind fitful
……………….before I woke there were words
………but I only hear echoes weaving now like the ribbons
……………………………….she braided in my hair sometimes
………………………………………..bits of clarity I can’t make out anymore

listening I wasn’t alone
……………………….if I close my eyes will the words come back to answer
……………….from the dark water where shadows
………like hands motion far off
……………………………….waving me toward them
………………………………………..if I sleep will they come closer

                                    -Debra Nystrom,

first published in Blackbird

Continue your education with Lifetime Learning’s online resources available to alumni, parents, and friends.

 

 

 

 

Thoughts on “Seasons Change Before We’re Ready

    Although melancholy. this poem is beautiful both in sentiment and description. Thank you for a loving gift to all.

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *