autumn 078

“Autumn’s Cathedral”


Carol Ann Duffy, Great Britain’s poet laureate, wrote about her father’s death in the poem “Pathway“:

….[W]here he walked,
the garden lengthened

Oil Painting, (c) 2011 Emma E. Glennon

Oil Painting, (c) 2011 Emma E. Glennon


to a changing mile
which held all seasons of the year.
He did not see me, staring from my window,
a child’s star face, hurt light from stricken time,
and he had treaded spring and summer
grasses before I thought to stir, follow him.




Autumn’s cathedral, open to the weather, rose
high above, flawed amber, gorgeous ruin; his shadow
stretched before me, cappa magna,
my own, obedient, trailed like a nun.
He did not turn. I heard the rosaries of birds.
The trees, huge doors, swung open and I knelt….


“The Rosaries of Birds”

Duffy lost her father the same year my husband died, and ends her poem with the moon’s distant, gentle light: “a simple headstone without words.”

Anyone who has dropped by before will know why this poem resonates with me, as did Duffy in conjuring midnight’s missing better half in “Midsummer Night“:

Not there to see constellations spell themselves on the sky
and black rhyme with white
or there to see petals fold on a rose like a kiss
on midsummer night.



Iceland 2571

“Where Black Rhymes with White”



About Stephanie

In her spare time, Stephanie works full-time, and then some, as an attorney. She has published articles and delivered talks in arcane fields like forensic evidentiary issues, jury instructions, and expert scientific witness preparation. She also is an adjunct professor at a law school on the banks of the Charles and loves that dirty water, as she will always think of Boston as her home. You are welcome to take a look at her Facebook author page, or follow @SMartinGlennon on Twitter. All content on this blog, unless otherwise attributed, is (c) 2012-2020 by Stephanie M. Glennon and should not be reproduced (in any form other than re-blogging in accordance with Wordpress protocol and the numerous other wee buttons at the bottom of each post) without the express permission of the domain holder.
This entry was posted in Love and Loss and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to Half-Ruin

  1. Allan G. Smorra says:

    Your words and images are as beautiful as ever.

    • Stephanie says:

      Thank you! Do you recognize the waxwing, from your black and white photo challenge? It immediately flew to mind for “the rosaries of birds,” and then I couldn’t see the image from the poem in any other way.

  2. atschmid5322 says:

    Not there? He’s there.

  3. Amy says:

    Beautiful, both poem and photos.

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