Autumn Joy – by Jesse Curran

My kindergartener pulls my hand
draws me out to the dew-glazed garden.
He tells me there’s something important to see.
A single honey bee collapsed on a cluster
of pin stars, limp and languishing, silent
on a heady bed of dusky mauve.
He asks me, what’s on her back?
And I can answer: it’s pointillist pollen,
fairy dust, the powder that makes
this all possible. His wide eyes
wander beyond, so we see
over a dozen bees hosted
on a sea of rosy sedum
asleep, a slumber, drowning
in the haze of late summer.
He says, they’re hibernating.
I think, they’re happy. Just as I am.
Before the school day, the work day
before the traffic takes hold
before the ping of the outlook box.
O, how it will consume attention
from the angle of the light
and from the state of the soil
so for now, I note, I’m happy—
standing in the garden with my child
hugging his hand, sharing his wonder,
beholding his witness of a flower
someone—somewhere—some time
thought to name hylotelephium telephium
stonecrop sedum, and sometimes
autumn joy.


Jesse Curran is a poet, essayist, scholar, and teacher who lives in Northport, NY. Her essays and poems have appeared in a number of literary journals including About Place, Ruminate, Allium, Blueline, and Still Point Arts Quarterly.