an on-line poetry magazine
for the 21st century


Bertha Rogers


Here the trees bend, forced by
September’s wind, forced to give in.

At night, tall tree totems enter
my room, they stand and watch
and wake me when they please—
(they wake from their sleeping eyes)—
they rustle and sway and wake me.

I rouse from my restless sleep and
watch them. They seem to long for
me to listen to the wind that roars
beyond the glass, its shouting song—
this, on the first day-eve of what saplings
and children call falling-leaf time.

Yesterday, the wind lay still, and
its trees stood like dancers against
a yellow wall—they waited their turn
to lift their arms and turn, turn, turn,
their gossamer veils dividing clouds.

This placid activity forced a recall—
other falls, and the men I gladly
followed, men who wore October
smiles, who with hands like leaves
loosed from trees, removed and slowly
folded jackets over golden branches.

There was laughter, there were hands
that opened and beckoned, there
were floating leaves and wide smiles—
curved lips that read every ending.

BERTHA ROGERS has published several books, including Wild, Again and Heart Turned Back; her What Want Brings: New & Selected Poems will be published in 2023 by Salmon Publishing, Ireland. She lives in the Great Western Catskills with her two dogs and two cats.