The Seasons' Dying

by Samantha Henderson

Summer dies warm in the brown arms of Fall
who lays her down easy
by his cool streams, takes the name Indian
Summer and runs.
Calloused barefoot, beloved of apples and witches,
his eyes are tawny and green trees turn glorious
musk at his touch. He does not flinch
when Winter slays him. Winter, warrior,
banners streaming white and blue,
dons the medieval robes of the last small Ice Age
and metes out justice. 'Til Spring
grows from the foot of his throne, twines about his limbs,
and tickles him to death.
Born of melted ice and mud,
weakest-seeming of the seasons,
she makes the aching buds burst.
She kisses her favorite frogs awake
who cannot save her from Queen Summer who,
passes her hand before her face,
closes her eyes with bright copper pennies,
and covers her with cloth of gold.
Summer strides,
eating peaches, until weary,
she faces handsome Autumn, walks into his embrace,
and lays her head down.

Samantha Henderson lives in Southern California with her family and various animals. Her poetry and fiction can be seen in Strange Horizons, Chizine, Lone Star Stories, Star*Line, and Abyss and Apex. She is currently reading Beau Ideal, by P. C. Wren.

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