The evening sky is beautiful but bleak,
purple and red bruises, brutal,
blossoming on the horizon
in fatal, flayed moments of twilight.
There is nothing you or I can do
but wear heavy clothes of sackcloth and wool,
wrapping our palsied souls
in the penance of dry, broken leaves.
It is a fearful thing, I think,
to watch death painted wide
on a canvas stretched by faceless pagans
between bare branches of a failing year.
There is redemption, to be sure,
but its implausible story is written on the pages
of a calendar not yet printed.
In the spring, it will hang on a nail driven hard.