Herding Autumn

POEM BY KAYE SPIVEY


I know these things
don’t need to be true:
fences of blackberry bushes and sticky apple pulp,

sugar wafting from the window,
the sunset sky, bare feet on sharp prairie grass,
letting the dogs out for a run down the field

before it gets too dark over foothills,
the last day of the year for short sleeves,
peach slivers drying overnight in the backyard

and rabbits scratching in their hutches,
Mom rolling cinnamon bread
and the neighbor dogs barking from across the way,

the geese calling overhead on their way to the lake as we run
and the dirt would be warm under our feet where it’s dry
where the sun and baseball cleats stirred it.

The stars would be coming out and all have names
that Mom would know, Cassiopeia
on her throne, Orion fending off Taurus the bull.

Cold air is the promise of school starting up again
and wild pigtails down my back shaking out.
I’d bring the dogs back in and pull the gate shut.

Meet with long nights
that could be anything.


The 2016 Luminaire Award for Best Poetry
FINALIST

We are pleased to announce this poem as a Notable Mention for The 2016 Luminaire Award for Best Poetry, honoring the independent press’ best poems of the year. The winners are selected by an external panel that judges all pieces blindly and selects the full list of 12 finalists from hundreds of entries. Alternating Current does not determine the final outcome for the judging; the external judges’ decisions are final.


KAYE SPIVEY is a writer who lives in the Pacific Northwest with her fiancé and two cats, Pi and Mulan. Her roaming lifestyle has inspired much of her writing and helped shaped her appreciation of close friends and family. She first published her poetry chapbook, An Isolated Storm, in 2015. Her writing has been previously published in several literary journals including Written River, Sterling Mag, Ghostlight, The Penwood Review, Northwest Boulevard, and For Books’ Sake. Find her at kayespivey.wordpress.com.