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Wet Autumn Leaves

Are We Like That First Fall Day?

The poet wonders if perhaps all of us have in our closets some old, well-worn sweaters which we hold on to with fervent fondness. A metaphor for cherishing happy times.

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The one where you begin to notice the change,

the crisp smell the air takes on, and you reach

into the back of the closet and find

that old sweater, the fleece one that you

put on each year, and slip

into it with such ease you almost

surprise yourself at how good it still fits, and how
it seems you’ve always worn it, and you’re not

even certain when or where you bought it,

but you know you’re not going to give it away,

and will wear it even as the edges fray, and

the fabric wears thin at the elbows, and

each year, you‘ll take better care of it, patching

and mending, wanting to wear it forever.

Are we like that First Fall day?: Welcome
Image by John Jennings

Janet R. Kirchheimer, author of ‘How to Spot One of Us’ (2007), is currently producing AFTER, a cinematic documentary where contemporary poets perform poetry about the Holocaust and explore the obligation of poets to respond to genocide. Her poetry chapbook, ‘Seduction: Out of Eden’, co-written with Jaclyn Piudik, will be published by Kelsay Books in summer 2022. Janet's poems and essays appear in numerous print and on-line journals and in anthologies including Connecticut Review, Atlanta Review, Mudfish, and String Poet. Her chapter, ‘At the Water’s Edge: Poetry and the Holocaust,’ appears in The Psychoanalytic Textbook of Holocaust Studies (Routledge, 2019). A Pushcart Prize nominee, Janet received a Drisha Institute for Jewish Education Arts Fellowship, is a writing coach, and teaches creative writing. Her website is:

Are we like that First Fall day?: Text
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