Poetry Appearing in Poetry In Motion® Portland

Sourwood Nocturne

Floyd Skloot

August nights the sourwood droops
with creamy white flowers that come
and go as though the dark of fall

were pure illusion. Walking some
nights on a deer trail that loops
the hillside, we can believe all

we hope for is present in one
deep breath. Then a moment
later is September. The slight

sourwood leaves turn such brilliant
scarlet it seems summer sun
still smolders in the tree's heart.

This high the evening light runs
toward December in a large wash
of blues, translucent as time

tightens and the air grows harsh.
Something moves behind us, a summons
within the wind. We turn toward home.

* * *

"Sourwood Noctune" from The Evening Light. Copyright © 2001 by Floyd Skloot. Reprinted by permission of the author.


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