When Daina texted me my autumnal poem topic for the day, I was reminded about how twelve year olds live unimpressed. 


I hope you enjoy this poem. It caught me by surprise on my first reading. It could be a little moving if you’re feeling it. And here I was, thinking you might get a light, rhyming pumpkin poem out of me. It turns out pumpkins are deep. Who knew? 


Pumpkins and Patches 

Each October
middle schools hang in hallways
the false symmetry and even complexions
of orange orbs presented as pumpkins.

Topped with a stump of a stem,
a natural lattice for its pigtail vine,
a 45-degree angled leaf leans toward heaven,
its teleological nod.

Not one knows every pumpkin
has its ugly side

where it sat without sun
so that the rest of it
could grow.

Pumpkins aren’t so far from people.

Some of us sit among the pigs.

We wear patched pants,
our ugly sides to the earth.


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