Impact, Heather Thornton
Autumn shuns Niagara Falls; it always has.
The cold water has always been cold,
The bare trees have always seemed bare,
The ground is usually hard-packed with primordial permafrost,
And daylight savings is a lie, for there has never been any daylight to save.
We stand in our front yard, bereft of vibrant autumn leaves,
The dead hay-grass claws at our booted feet
And Father Winter’s exhale pierces us,
Freezes our blood midstream and turns our bones to ice.
Staring wistfully towards where the Niagara roars,
Where the abysmal whirlpools churn in the river,
Where the water ferns are long dead and the mallards
And geese have absconded to the warmth,
We all imagine the autumn sun, distant, but warm and kind.
Thick, icy dusk settles over the edge of the Niagara River
And distant clouds carry the promise of snow.
We’ve missed it here, in our gray little town
Where the winter sun mocks us by shining
But not keeping us warm.