Poetry  June 2012 | issue 438

Small-Town Autumn

by Donna Steiner

DONNA STEINER’s writing has been published in Fourth Genre, Shenandoah, and Stone Canoe, and she is a contributing writer for Hippocampus Magazine. She teaches at the State University of New York at Oswego and recently completed a manuscript of linked essays.

Spilt dusk light on the river,
silver as mercury.

It’s not art
until you mention it;

not art, I heard, until you
notice the ache in it.

Every car thunks a loose
manhole cover on Main Street.

A flagless flagpole clinks its cord.

One fat cumulus billows like
the great robes of

the untaut screens of porch doors
undulate in the breeze. And what

goes on behind those doors
goes on.