The frayed end of September is raining
out of clouds gray and hung low
as urban clothesline
near the elevated trains.
The traffic on slick pavement
is a soft percussive.
Dogs come in from walks
smelling of wet fur
and human walkers wonder why
precipitation finds a trickle-route
in the tightest upturned collar.
Two young men I know
are living through long soul-draining
months of depression.
I think this, too, is autumn.
Some of us are bursting with color,
celebrating the maple-leaf-and-pumpkin
harvest of everything,
others listen to the sound of hope
pouring away down gutters,
and, if they knew it,
on crocus bulbs in pocket gardens,
but for now they are caught
in the season of their afternoon rain.
I slow down, unzip my coat,
try to understand.