How shocked they must have been,
to wake up on this crisp, fall morning and learn
that overnight someone had decided their time was done.
The news came quietly, without fanfare,
not even the stars saw it coming;
yet no one misunderstood.
“But — we’ve only just started to change,”
they must have protested to a world that couldn’t listen.
They held on, though,
desperate to show their blushing new selves
to a world that couldn’t see them
through the cold white of an early snow.
Ron Bernas lives and works in metropolitan Detroit. He came to poetry late in his writing career. These are his first published poems. (Ron also has a poem on the shortlist!)