October is the month that seems
All woven with midsummer dreams; 
She brings for us the golden days
That fill the air with smoky haze, 
She brings for us the lisping breeze
And wakes the gossips in the trees, 
Who whisper near the vacant nest 
Forsaken by its feathered guest. 
Now half the birds forget to sing, 
And half of them have taken wing, 
Before their pathway shall be lost
Beneath the gossamer of frost. 
Zigzag across the yellow sky, 
They rustle here and flutter there, 
Until the boughs hang chill and bare, 
What joy for us—what happiness 
Shall cheer the day the night shall bless? 
’Tis hallowe’en, the very last 
Shall keep for us remembrance fast, 
When every child shall duck the head
To find the precious pippin red. 

This poem is in the public domain. Published in Poem-a-Day on October 27, 2019, by the Academy of American Poets. 

The Octopus offers me one of his three hearts,

briar and holly for friendship the second and third

saved for times of longing, times of loss.

A strange romance, I admit—

Friends would never approve or believe,

yet he was untouched by human hands.

How can we say this is not a source of wonder—

“Who will sing my song, if not you?”  he asked.

“Who will dream of me, as I lay under the stillness of water?”

Even an Octopus can be eloquent, and then again,

as we know, enormous need can become power.

What am I supposed to do now?

I stand by the water,

my woolen dress unraveling in the waves.

From What the Psychic Said by Grace Cavalieri, published by Goss183. Copyright © 2020 by Grace Cavalieri.

Yesterday: me, a stone, the river,
a bottle of Jack, the clouds
with unusual speed crept by.

A man was in the middle of me.
I was humbled.
Not by him. The earth,

with its unusual speed,
went from dawn to dusk to dawn.
Just like that. The light

every shade of gold. Gold. I’m
greedy for it. Light is my currency.
I am big with dawn. So hot & so

pregnant with the fire I stole.
By pregnant I mean everything
you see is of me. Daylight

is my daughter. Dusk, my lover’s
post-pleasure face. And the night?
Well. Look up.

Are you ever really alone?

Copyright © 2020 by Katie Condon. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on April 7, 2020 by the Academy of American Poets.

All morning my daughter pleading, outside
outside. By noon I kneel to button her
coat, tie the scarf to keep her hood in place.
This is her first snow so she strains against
the ritual, spooked silent then whining,
restless under each buffeting layer,
uncertain how to settle into this
leashing. I manage at last to tunnel
her hands into mittens and she barks and
won’t stop barking, her hands suddenly paws.
She’s reduced to another state, barking
all day in these restraints. For days after
she howls into her hands, the only way
she knows now to tell me how she wants out.

From Year of the Dog (BOA Editions, 2020) by Deborah Paredez. Copyright © 2020 by Deborah Paredez. Used with permission of The Permissions Company, LLC on behalf of BOA Editions, Ltd., boaeditions.org.

Sitting at her table, she serves
the sopa de arroz to me
instinctively, and I watch her,
the absolute mamá, and eat words
I might have had to say more
out of embarrassment. To speak,
now-foreign words I used to speak,
too, dribble down her mouth as she serves
me albóndigas. No more
than a third are easy to me.
By the stove she does something with words
and looks at me only with her
back. I am full. I tell her
I taste the mint, and watch her speak
smiles at the stove. All my words
make her smile. Nani never serves
herself, she only watches me
with her skin, her hair. I ask for more.

I watch the mamá warming more
tortillas for me. I watch her
fingers in the flame for me.
Near her mouth, I see a wrinkle speak
of a man whose body serves
the ants like she serves me, then more words
from more wrinkles about children, words
about this and that, flowing more
easily from these other mouths. Each serves
as a tremendous string around her,
holding her together. They speak
Nani was this and that to me
and I wonder just how much of me
will die with her, what were the words
I could have been, was. Her insides speak
through a hundred wrinkles, now, more
than she can bear, steel around her,
shouting, then, What is this thing she serves?

She asks me if I want more.
I own no words to stop her.
Even before I speak, she serves.

From Whispering to Fool the Wind (Sheep Meadow Press, 1982). Copyright © 1982 by Alberto Ríos. Reprinted by permission of the author.