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MY AUTUMN LEAVES
by Bruce Weigl

I watch the woods for deer as if I’m armed.
I watch the woods for deer who never come.
I know the hes and shes in autumn
rendezvous in orchards stained with fallen
apples’ scent. I drive my car this way to work
so I may let the crows in corn believe
it’s me their caws are meant to warn,
and snakes who turn in warm and secret caves
 
they know me too. They know the boy
who lives inside me still won’t go away.
The deer are ghosts who slip between the light
through trees, so you may only hear the snap
of branches in the thicket beyond hope.
I watch the woods for deer, as if I’m armed. 

 Photo: Mark P. Jones, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

“My Autumn Leaves” is found in My Unraveling Strangeness, Bruce Weigl’s 2002 poetry collection from Grove Press. Find the book at Amazon.com.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Bruce Weigl entered the Army at eighteen and served in Vietnam for one year, beginning in December 1967. He was awarded the Bronze Star and returned to his hometown of Lorain, Ohio. He earned his BA at Oberlin College, his MA at the University of New Hampshire, and his PhD at the University of Utah. Weigl is the author of more than a dozen books of poetry, including The Unraveling Strangeness (2002), Archeology of the Circle: New and Selected Poems (1999), and After the Others (1999). Weigl has won the Robert Creeley Award, the Lannan Literary Award for Poetry, the Paterson Poetry Prize, the Poet’s Prize from the Academy of American Poets, the Cleveland Arts Prize, and two Pushcart Prizes. Song of Napalm (1998) was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize. He has also been awarded fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Yaddo Foundation.