Fall and Autumn to a Child Born Old
(After reading "Spring and Fall, to a young child," by Gerard Manly Hopkins)

Village priest, why this decrying
Margaret’s grief for gold leaves dying?
You tell her that, as young girls grow,
Hardened hearts will coldly know
And with few regrets or sighs
View an Autumn’s due demise.
Yes, she'll weep, but not grow wise.
For the Fall will look the same;
Sorrow goes by any name
When all sadness you conflate,
Misconstruing mankind’s fate,
Like an older child reborn
Not to celebrate, but mourn.

Michael Murry, "The Misfortune Teller," Copyright © 2009