finch street elms

Poem #26 from Small Town Kid

Back to Small Town Kid – Introduction


the elm trees
lining finch street
must have stood
for eighty or ninety years

they are a grand parade
despite the annual autumn butchery
to ensure safety for
or perhaps from
the power lines
that thread and join them
like knots placed at regular intervals
on a length of string

these elms are a marker
for the passage of seasons

the fall of hops
precedes the opening
of deep green summer leaves
and forms a soft
crinkling carpet
to cover the holes
of seven-year cicadas
whose cast-off shells
are scattered skeletally around the base
of late spring

red and yellow weeks
lead to trails of rising smoke
from house-proud frontages
that burn cleansing fires
throughout autumn

and hint
at the grey days to come
when the leaves
have all fallen
and bare black branches
stand deserted
and stark
in the frost-brittle cold
and stillness
of winter


© Frank Prem 2009

Small Town Kid Poem 27: fires of autumn

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