Ohio Listening

It’s autumn in Ohio
Things to be done
Visit the doctor 
Before leaves fall. 

Autumn in Ohio
Black birds southward bound
Darkening the sky
North winds congregate
In fields of dry stalks
A loose shingle rattling 
On the roof. 

Autumn in Ohio
Repairs to be made
Firewood to gather 
Loved ones to hold 
Before the leaves turn gold
And the hawk descends 
Formidable cold. 

“Ohio Listening” from Selected Poems of Calvin C. Hernton © 2023 by Antone Hernton. Published by Wesleyan University Press. Used by permission.