Holding On

by Jean L. Kreiling

The leaves turned late that year: she watched as green
held on, reluctant to concede the sure
ascendancy of fall — as if it were
a choice, as if a show of will would mean
a late reprieve. But cold would soon convene
the fatal colors; nothing could secure
eternal summer, nothing would endure
the winds that soon would strip the maples clean.

She held on, just as pointlessly, to all
she knew of love, despite the darkening
of  once-bright hours, despite the cooling trend.
She feared that heartbreak, unlike winter’s pall,
would not be followed by another spring;
she dreaded watching dying leaves descend.

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Jean L. Kreiling is a Professor of Music at Bridgewater State University in Massachusetts. Her poetry has appeared in several print and on-line journals, including Contemporary Sonnet, Dogwood, Ekphrasis, The Evansville Review, The Formalist, London Poetry Review, Mezzo Cammin, The Pennsylvania Review, and SLANT.  She was a finalist for both the 2009 Howard Nemerov Sonnet Award and the 2010 Dogwood Poetry Prize.
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Pat Jones
Published October 3 2010