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Time to Leave
by John Grey

In the magic air, the hushed autumn whispers,

leaves skim lawns, static-y shadows

pace the edges, birds winged-up,

prepare for the trip south.


We stroll these halls of ancient torture,

gold and red, the sky’s palette,

you like Pinturicchio’s “Portrait Of A Boy”

with your young face, long flap of hair,

and the beginnings of a beard aging your soft chin,

and me beside you, anxious to be moving on,

as old school buildings pretend to be real substance,

even as wings beat in the trees above.


These feathered visitors have done as much as they can

in the summer months just as we are finished

with the preparation, can only cast off from here,

even if we lack the flying apparatus.


But my imagination’s like nothing I have

known up to now, and the coming twilight

mirrors the dream world you plan to enter into –

one day, we said – and repeated like a child’s

alphabet – and now one day is here.

Unlike the birds, every direction is south to us.

John Grey is an Australian poet, US resident, recently published in Stand, Washington Square Review and Sheepshead Review. Latest books, ”Between Two Fires," “Covert” and “Memory Outside The Head” are available through Amazon. Work upcoming in the McNeese Review, Santa Fe Literary Review and California Quarterly.

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