"-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.01 Transitional//EN"> Frigg | Spring/Summer 2023 | Useful | Michael T. Young
artwork for Michael T. Young's poem Useful

Michael T. Young

I hadn’t noticed until today
the shock of yellow leaves
outside my window. It brought
to mind that every autumn
those colors are choked
out of the summer green
as the tree starves them.
It’s how it survives winter,
discarding the useless.
I think how every elegy
is written in their drying veins
and spirals toward our common
seasonal thoughts. But then
I see through their patchwork
threads of a distant sky,
its blue like needlework
outlining their yellow,
brighter now against this change,
until the whole seems more
a blanket held together by the light
which I had forgotten would stream
more fully through my window
each morning, as they worked loose
from the stitching, each one
falling like a hand that gestures
toward the expanding view.

Michael T. Young’s Comments

Many of nature’s survival mechanisms have a dark side to them. One is how autumn’s beautiful colors result from trees starving their leaves to conserve energy. The beauty is one of the redemptive aspects to that dark side. This poem is an attempt to look at it deeply enough to see another redemptive side, to see through the dark process and once again to the light itself.

Table of Contents

Frigg: A Magazine of Fiction and Poetry | Issue 61 | Spring/Summer 2023