Autumn Water


Feeding the fish at dusk yesterday was noticeably chilly. As I sat on the concrete bench at the bank of the cascading koi ponds, I saw that the fish are getting sluggish. The water temp is dropping and their sensitive bodies have begun to acclimatize to approaching winter. Their tiny hearts ultimately will slow to a single beat per minute as they hibernate under the pond ice and sleepily await spring. The miracle of their seemingly simple yet utterly complex existence moved me to this: 

Autumn Water

“Sumer is icumen in

lhude sing cuccu!”


No. No.

Tis darkening autumn descending

on summer-spent Cape Cod these days.

Cuccu’s long gone.


No more younglings at play, either,

yelling in the far away.

All gone home.

The concrete bench that

was summer hot to sit upon

now cold as concrete. Cold as koi.


I fatten them these days

against approaching winter abstinence,

glutting their autumn bellies, 

rehearsing for hibernal hibernation.



Already desultory when they

should swarm for their food pellets,

hearts beating downtempo,

like mine.

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  • Vincent Tozzi
    commented 2016-10-08 06:10:13 -0400