Autumn Sonnets (excerpt) by May Sarton
If I can let you go as trees let go
Their leaves, so casually, one by one;
If I can come to know what they do know,
That fall is the release, the consummation,
Then fear of time and the uncertain fruit
Would not distemper the great lucid skies
This strangest autumn, mellow and acute.
If I can take the dark with open eyes
And call it seasonal, not harsh or strange
(For love itself may need a time of sleep),
And, treelike, stand unmoved before the change,
Lose what I lose to keep what I can keep,
The strong root still alive under the snow,
Love will endure - if I can let you go.
After a night of rain the brilliant screen
Below my terraced garden falls away.
And there, far off, I see the hills again
On this, a raw and windy, somber day.
Moments of loss, and it is overwhelming
(Crimson and gold gone, that rich tapestry),
But a new vision, quiet and soul-calming,
Distance, design, are given back to me.
This is good poverty, now love is lean,
More honest, harder than it ever was
When all was glamoured by a golden screen.
The hills are back, and silver on the grass,
As I look without passion or despair
Out on a larger landscape, grand and bare.