In the warm October afternoon,
the sky’s a palette of blues and whites.
Ferndale’s buildings, grazed by noon
glint and shimmer in the gold sunlight.
The season has sucked the summer out
of warmer, gone September, expelling
yellow leaves and heavier coats
and bees at the mill that buzzing, sting.
Beneath the fluttering American flag,
a store sells “ONLY ORGANIC.”
A truck rolls by, down nine-mile’s drag,
past the gay-friendly store and the psychic.
Who’d have thought that grief would follow
like a too-warm coat in October,
rising in the hot heart’s hollow
like the vapor of a geyser?