Poetry Sunday: November by Maggie Dietz

Can it really be November already? 

Apparently it can, but where did October go? For that matter, where did the last ten months go?

November. Except for the "fool's gold" of falling leaves, you couldn't prove it by me; it's still mid 80s every day here. 

The November that poet Maggie Dietz describes is that of a more northern clime. Our ideal November.


by Maggie Dietz

Show's over, folks. And didn't October do
A bang-up job? Crisp breezes, full-throated cries
Of migrating geese, low-floating coral moon.

Nothing left but fool's gold in the trees.
Did I love it enough, the full-throttle foliage,
While it lasted? Was I dazzled? The bees

Have up and quit their last-ditch flights of forage
And gone to shiver in their winter clusters.
Field mice hit the barns, big squirrels gorge

On busted chestnuts. A sky like hardened plaster
Hovers. The pasty river, its next of kin,
Coughs up reed grass fat as feather dusters.

Even the swarms of kids have given in
To winter's big excuse, boxed-in allure:
TVs ricochet light behind pulled curtains.

The days throw up a closed sign around four.
The hapless customer who'd wanted something
Arrives to find lights out, a bolted door.


  1. Ah November when suddenly it is dark before dinner, I want to start Happy Hour early, and I gain what I call "hibernation" pounds no matter what I do. November is when the leaves fall here, the Liquid Amber trees put on the show of gold and red right before Thanksgiving, one variety of my grasses get huge glamorous tufts on them. I am watching Alias Grace on Netflix. It is mesmerizing.

    1. November is actually one of my favorite months because it contains my favorite holiday, Thanksgiving, and the weather is generally benevolent here during this time. Hurricane season is past, temperatures are slightly cooler, migrant birds are passing through, and our fall colors (such as they are) brighten the woods. On the negative side, I'm all too familiar with the "hibernation pounds" phenomenon.

  2. I love this, although, thanks to climate change, we still have trees turning color where I live in upstate New York. I do not like our Novembers, with all their gloom. By tomorrow night, the bees will be a distant memory, and we will be having wet snow by week's end.

    1. November sounds like the beginning of winter where you live, while it's just the tail-end of summer here.

  3. I like it. It perfectly describes November in the Northeast. Yesterday was gloomy already at about 4:30 pm. Most of the trees are shedding their leaves, but this fall, thanks to not much rain and warmer temperatures than usual, the leaves turned color later than normal, and we didn't get the whole display.

    1. Another thing we can blame global warming for - messing with the fall display of colors in the Northeast.


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