Poets’ Corner: Bridger for Fall

Poets’ Corner: Bridger for Fall

Editor’s Note: Kierstin Bridger is the 2011 winner of Telluride Arts’ Mark Fischer Poetry Prize and a regular contributor to Telluride Inside… and Out. Possibly the edgiest member of our family of fabulous writers/poets, including Word Woman Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer and “Feelosophy” major David Feela, Kierstin surprised us once again with a poem dedicated to Fall, yes, but really about the inexorable trudge trudge trudge of Father Times. I mean it is just September and she is talking about October. Carpe diem everyone.


Signs of October

Thistle, sun bleached and brittle—

wayward over the bridge.

I can’t enter without an ankle scratch,

without a sign from the dead.


This morning I lay on flagstone,

a sun-halo rose around the lowly.

I blurred the elevated peaks,

focused my lens on a caterpillar.


His was a lesson I’d learn all day.

Such solace in barbed companions,

wherever I am, I’m in the middle,

encased and guarded, but here,


There is life ablaze even if it pauses.

The snap of an aspen sapling above

crisped gilded leaves in polite gusts

of applause crowning the royal blue.


We trudge on, don’t we?

Swallowing, ingesting, crawling, mostly invisible.

Only head down do we notice the mulch

of summer’s departed, the shrouded mycelium


of hawks wing and king boletus.

Bear scat on the path

fuel for spring’s cheeky upstarts,

a reminder we aren’t in it for the fame.


And tonight, no one can tell me

the stars are all dying. Head back,

I’ll be swept, torch-eyed, as Antares pulses


in the fiery heart of my Scorpius.

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