Lost Autumn

I lost that autumn

Lying like a church effigy in bed,

Not dead but not really alive either.

The horse chestnut trees were laden with green sea mines

Threatening me with time.

Calendars hung blank for months;

My life’s ink ebbing away.

I did not want to stay

Boxed in as I was, a coffin with a window,

A slice of sky to remind me of the outside world,

A meagre gift to myself. 

My head grew fatter as I got thinner,

A corpse in all but name.

I haunted my own bedroom that Autumn,

Picked out flowers not due until Spring,

Wrote to friends about my passing.

It all made sense back then.

Now the sky is blue again and the sun’s rays have hands;

They reach out to my marble-white arms,

Covering everything in golden promise.

I fall for such charms and replant myself.

Who knows if I will take root?

What colour will I be, how tall?

I do not know such things at all but know that take root I must,

Otherwise lie shrivelled in the unforgiving dust.


By Sarah Mills