October Falling

–for Jacqueline Cooley, 1944-2018

Last night the trees changed color while I slept.
One moment at my window: a new world.
Love, do you continue transmuting where you are?

Pandemonium of the color wheel. That raucousness.
Noise the sky can hear I call October falling.
Now, outside, calling you to join me, Love,

I kick the leaf piles wind has pre-arranged.
This is what I want to do with my late seventies,
honor the sky, scatter stained glass on the sidewalk,

follow the path their hues take us, you beside me.
Then, befriend the wind I’d called an enemy,
flatter it a little with the truth.

Wind, you have a longer history than my breath
encircling worlds before they could take shape,
arranging, disarranging, misaligning, to align—



Peter Cooley

Peter Cooley was born and educated in the Midwest and has lived over half of his life in New Orleans, where he was Professor of English and Director of Creative writing at Tulane University and is now Professor Emeritus. The former Poet Laureate of Louisiana, he received the Marble Faun Award in Poetry and an Atlas Grant from the state of Louisiana. The father of three grown children, he published his tenth book World Without Finishing in 2018.


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