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Corinne Demas is the award-winning author of thirty-five books for adults and children, including The Writing Circle and other novels, two short story collections and a memoir. The poems featured in WTP Vol. IX #10, with the exception of “The Donkeys Hear the Sunset,” are reprinted from her chapbook, The Donkeys Postpone Gratification (Finishing Line Press, 2009). She is a Professor Emerita of English at Mount Holyoke College and a Fiction Editor at The Massachusetts Review.
The Donkeys In October Wind
From WTP Vol. IX #10
It’s not a wind of August.
It scatters leaves and brings down
It flattens the ridge of hair
on the donkeys’ spine
bites through their fur.
It blows through the stable
and raises a cloud of wood shavings
that look like billowing snow.
Yesterday it could have been summer, still.
The donkeys lay on the warm dirt
blinked in the sunshine
dozed and dreamed.
The leaves of the shag bark maple
glowed hot red against pale sky
then fell. Red stars, everywhere.
The donkeys walked on the
Today the leaves are brown.
There is nothing worth nibbling.
The donkeys bite at each other
for no reason.
But perhaps there is a reason:
The asters, deserted by the monarchs,
The bumblebees slowed by the cold, clumsy
as drunkards, waddling near the entry
to their hole,
The geese changing formation in the sky
barking out their orders,
leaving the donkeys behind.
It grows dark before the day is over.
Something is coming
which the donkeys have no name for
but which they remember.
It is the wind that warns them.
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