Autumn Sky Poetry . . . Number 5 . . .

Late November Dusk

Your day whittled down to nothing,
Evening puts away its pocket knife.
Last leaves everywhere jump from their
Timber ledges—so near is the season
Of resolutions. Close by, the smoke
Of burning foliage wafts unseen
Into the darkness—city ordinances
Be damned. Enjoying that pungency
Means conspiring with those felonious
Souls three streets due west, the ones
Who over-decorate every Halloween,
Whose ill-mannered boys—the gossips
Assure—will amount to nothing.
You're not a gossip, but you like to listen.
Better that than raking leaves—this
Plague of color. O women's voices over
Morning coffee! Judging, foretelling,
Conjuring like a cauldron of witches, though
Decorous in their enmity, tender even.

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Jon Ballard

Jon Ballard lives in Mexico City, Mexico and occasionally teaches literature for Oakland Community College in Royal Oak, Michigan. His poems have appeared in Soundings East, Riverrun, The Old Red Kimono, SP Quill, The MacGuffin, The Rock Salt Plum Review, The Dande Review, Boxcar Poetry Review, Poetry Midwest, and The Centrifugal Eye. Other poems are forthcoming in Subtletea, The Valparaiso Poetry Review, and Tipton Poetry Journal. His first chapbook, "Lonesome," from Pudding House Publications, is due in 2007.

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© 2007 Jon Ballard