Jennifer MacPherson

What Happens In September

Half the leaves

lose their quarrel

with frost and hang

like yellow rags.

Fathers oil their rakes,

foresee the deluge

of shapes, their bent

backs’ slow ache

as sons oil skates,

apples rounding

where pumpkins hallo

from low vines.

While limber hands

ready whack of pigskin,

teachers search under beds

for briefcases, sharpen pencils

into lasers. Retired teachers

find their eyes turn red

in the cooler weather

and they sleep like snails.