The Autumn Name of God

Color, said the nun, is the autumn
name of God
and his winter name is Silence

and here is how it is for us:

we have only color and silence left
the leaves burn beautifully in their slow dying
the wind through the branches
makes a music like a lullaby
it carries back the names of other seasons

autumn is the last color of the house

framed there at the end of the path
amidst brilliant oaks and maples
we don’t see its peeling paint,
the way the shutter hangs by a hinge

reds and yellows blow across the path,
pile up against the wall

soon, bare branches and snow

the coming of silence
God’s final name

Janet McCann

Janet McCann taught creative writing at Texas A&M from 1969 until 2015, is now Professor Emerita there. Journals publishing her work include Kansas Quarterly, Parnassus, Nimrod, Sou'wester, Christian Century, Christianity and Literature, New York Quarterly, Tendril, Poetry Australia, etc. Her most recent book-length poetry collection: The Crone at the Casino, Lamar Univ. Press, 2015.

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