An Autumn Prayer
Trees make a tunnel,
red and orange foliage,
branches arched over roads.
Headlights cut haze,
fog that crawls across streets
as leaves give themselves to wind,
dance and tumble in decay.
This warmth reminds me
of mid-May, when crocuses
reach up like tiny fingers.
I study the sky, the widening
blue canvas pushing out gray.
I want to raise my hands, reach
towards sunlight. Foolish, maybe,
to whisper a prayer to prolong
the warmth, and stretch these days
before winter’s howls and gusts,
when I will wake and clench bed sheets,
the way I squeeze the steering wheel now,
driving through mid-morning fog.
Brian Fanelli is the author of two poetry collections, Waiting for the Dead to Speak (NYQ Books), winner of the 2017 Devil’s Kitchen Poetry Prize, and All That Remains (Unbound Content), as well as the chapbook Front Man (Big Table Publishing). His poetry, essays, and book reviews have been published by The Los Angeles Times, World Literature Today, Main Street Rag, The Paterson Literary Review, Two Hawks Quarterly, Portland Review, and elsewhere. He has an M.F.A. from Wilkes University and a Ph.D. from SUNY Binghamton University. Currently, he teaches at Lackawanna College in Pennsylvania.