Monday, November 18, 2002

The first real sticking sort of snow fell this weekend, and though in many respects it’s hardly begun a part of me has already said goodbye to the Autumn. My father always says that Spring in Ohio only lasts for about a day. It’s winter on Saturday, Spring on Sunday, and midsummer by Monday afternoon. I think the same goes for Fall. Though nothing screams Fall to me like Thanksgiving, and that’s still two weeks away, the first sticky snow is when I begin thinking in terms of Winter. No wonder Winter in Ohio seems to last so long.

As I’ve written here before, Fall used to be my favorite season. And because I have a sentimental attachment for the season, and because I feel I’ve been a little shortchanged this year, a poem I used to love popped into my mind today. It’s a bit to do with Autumn, and a bit to do with Ohio. But I’ve always loved it. I'm going to reproduce it here because I don't have any other medium in which I feel comfortable foisting poetry on you all.

Autumn Begins in Martins Ferry, Ohio
by James Wright

In the Shreve High football stadium,
I think of Polacks nursing long beers in Tiltonsville,
And gray faces of Negroes in the blast furnace at Benwood,
And the ruptured night watchman of Wheeling Steel,
Dreaming of heroes.

All the proud fathers are ashamed to go home.
Their women cluck like starved pullets,
Dying for love.

Their sons grow suicidally beautiful
At the beginning of October,
And gallop terribly against each other’s bodies.