Written in Arlington

During the month of April 2020, Arlington Poet Laureate Emerita Katherine E. Young is posting poems from the forthcoming anthology Written in Arlington, which showcases the poets and poems of Arlington, Virginia.


Overnight Maples Turn into Pumpkins 
by Katherine Gekker

and the dog disappears for hours in his leaf-filled yard 
herds squirrels corner to corner 
No acorn will be harvested on his watch 

Too tired for his nighttime walk 
he puts himself to bed at eight 

Tonight as the sun sets 
wasps race to their nest 
angry that their time is almost over 
Seven deer tiptoe single file 
from their feeding ground to their sleeping ground 

A full moon 
shines silver on the batwing begonias 

And then it happens 
You are there 
The dog, overjoyed 
brings his ball, his stick 
anything to keep you 

It’s like that other sunset 
when the tops of the oaks glowed yellow 
For a long time 
you had been too ill to look out the window 
Suddenly you saw them 
and asked 
How can I bear such beauty? 

Katherine Gekker is the author of In Search of Warm Breathing Things. Her poems have appeared in Little Patuxent ReviewDelmarva Review, Broadkill ReviewApple Valley Review, and elsewhere. Her poetry has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net. Gekker was born in Washington, DC. She founded a commercial printing company in 1974 and sold it thirty-one years later. When not writing, she practices piano. “Overnight Maples Turn into Pumpkins” first appeared as part of the song cycle Chasing the Moon Down from Musik Fabrik Musik Publishing.

Written in Arlington / Spoken in Arlington is a print and digital collection of the poets and poems of Arlington, VA, edited by Katherine E. Young and published by Paycock Press (forthcoming, fall 2020). It is supported in part by Arlington County through the Arlington Cultural Affairs division of Arlington Economic Development and the Arlington Commission for the Arts. For more information, visit Arlington Arts.

Image: After the Rain mixed media/collage on canvas by Anya Getter (fragment)

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