Beth McDonough




We observe this word, abscission

turn fashionable, hang in air.
Once botanists’ part-property, at least
cased in scientific sights; now –
in this most now of times – it’s ours.

Perhaps this year holds terms
longer, closer than is usual. Leaves
in every kind of autumn still a little,
thinwrist-clutch reluctant trees before

that glorious fall. Never gutter-sent.
Severing, their moves amaze
new-play with grace. All our seasoned
expectations have not prepared us

for their readiness in separation.
Watchful, we learn to accept abscission.


Beth McDonough’s poetry appears in Causeway, Antiphon, Interpreter’s Houseand elsewhere; she reviews in DURA. Handfast (2016, with Ruth Aylett) explores family experiences – Aylett’s of dementia. and McDonough’s of autism. She was recently Writer in Residence at Dundee Contemporary Arts.

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