by Jenny C. Blaine
Why fall? Our yankee leaves fall, temperatures fall, nights fall
early. Businessmen and mothers fall up here if they walk
careless like a southerner on ice.
Some people who move to San Diego from L’Étoile
du Nord say they miss the seasons.
Some people say there are seasons
in San Diego.
But in San Diego their dads don’t have to go up
two tall stories on ladders with forty-pound storm
windows, glass and wood, lean out, risk a fall to put them on.
In San Diego, they don’t go from summer outside dogfoot pads burn on
asphalt to winter if you fall down and can’t get up, not enough on, die ... freeze.
Their green tomatoes always ripen.
There, our houseplants can grow outside, become trees.
They don’t need to spin cocoon skin of wool, silk, fleece.
In San Diego they have real Dr. Suess trees
and unlike in the Battle of the Bulge, on a Christmas Eve
They don’t have to dig in snow for a father’s wristwatch lost
in a foxhole. They can let the outside in.
They miss the seasons in San Diego? They can let their guard fall.
Their iris, thyme, rudbeckia, peonies
don’t know the embrace of straw or oak leaves.
They don’t have to change socks or their doughboy feet freeze
in the cattle cars. They can leave the dead with their socks
in place and let the inside out.