Autumn exhaled her last
A breath of swallows 
Sighed upon the south 
Before cold rags stopped up her mouth
And cannon cracks of frost
Felled the stragglers 
The low slung sun
Now barely grazes poplars on the hill 
Cold light pressed low in furrows
Glances from the sodden soil 
Frost maps out long shadows
Moored along each hedge and wall
Among the mourning boughs 
Dancing leaves of summer
Verdant, intricately veined
Are dead things now
A mouldering carpet muddled in the muck
Beneath the bloodless fingers of the wood
A dog skulks among still trees
Sinewed fist of a hound 
Born of blood and summer earth
Living breath affronting silent air
While warm things corseted in burrows
Tend till spring their sacred fires