Last Autumn
by Tresha Haefner
Tresha Haefner

Tresha Faye Haefner lives in San Jose, California, where she teaches English and Social Studies, frequents Barefoot Coffee, and shares a studio apt. with her cats, Nimue and Nietzsche. Her work appears in BloodLotus and Zygote in My Coffee.

They turned yellow at first,
like torn pieces of water color paper
that had absorbed too much paint,
and burst upon the sky
in an excess of color,

haloing the children
who walked below,
like figures stitched into a patchwork quilt
of cornfields, and hayfields
and gathered wheat.

It lasted a month,
this turning of the seasons.
Then, in November,
they burst into flames
and fell,

but for one,
who shook on the branch,
before she too was cut loose to float,
down the back of the wind,
and landed like Artemis, dying
in the gutter,

one brush stroke of summer
still blushing faintly
across the crest of her broken spine.

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