Friday, October 12, 2012

Autumn Fire: A Memoir Poem & Book Winners Announcement


One of the things I remember most about the autumns of my childhood is the scent of burning leaves. I miss that today. The following poem is based on my memory of a time I spent with two of my cousins at my grandparents’ house. We raked up a pile of autumn leaves and sat on wooden crates watching—and smelling—the leaves burn at dusk on a cool October day.

By Elaine Magliaro

Two tall maple trees grow
in front of my grandparents’ house.
In late October
they shed their golden crowns.
When the fallen leaves
curl up like little brown bear cubs,
we rake them into a pile
at the side of the street.
As dusk arrives
Dzidzi sets our harvest afire
with a single match.
We sit on wooden crates
at the sidewalk’s edge,
watch the brittle leaves
blossom into golden flames,
smell autumn’s pungent breath.
From the pyre summer rises,
a small gray ghost,
and drifts away
into the darkening sky.


The Poetry Friday Roundup is at Teaching Young Writers.


The three winners of Janet Wong’s book Declaration of Interdependence: Poems for an Election year are Gretchen, Bridget Wilson, and vezenimost. Congratulations to all of you!

Note to the winners: Please email me your names and addresses and I will send the books off to you.



Andromeda Jazmon said...

I love the scent of burning leaves. Such a lovely poem!

Betsy Hubbard said...

I feel like I am there on the crate. I love the imagery here.

Tara @ A Teaching Life said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tara @ A Teaching Life said...

So many lines to linger over and love in your poem, Elaine. we are examine poems about falling sixth grade class, may I share yours with my kids?

Elaine Magliaro said...


I'd love for you to share this poem--or any of my poems--with your students.