October by Mia Compton-Engle

October is a breath of crisp air, a whisper of a meandering breeze, 

vibrant autumnal foliage drifting idly from an infinite sky 

tenderly caressed by clouds, a picturesque ideal. 

October is sun speckled harvests,

driving aimlessly down country roads

stretching endlessly to embrace the dust swept horizon, Ohio, Ohio.

October is racing–no, flying, forward, forward,

cross the finish and my open soul sings.

Today, just today, I am invincible. 

October is a cold night warmed by the golden glow of laughter, company,

friends who share stories and sleep; we are all but a sigh away from 

dreams that transcend (escape?) reality. I welcome any and all oblivion. 

October is an unexpected connection,

the promise of new possibilities. Oh please, may the stars of my future align soon, 

for there is slow death in uncertainty.

October is a glaring spotlight so intoxicating I can almost forget my woozy head,

the smiles that don’t quite reach the eyes.

Fake it ‘til you make it, we affirm every day, I am smart, strong, mentally stable but

October is unyielding expectation, unyielding pressure – 

how can this be a mere illusion when I am slipping, slipping

out of control, losing myself; no, really, who am I? I can’t think anymore because

October is watching them walk away, intertwined shadows just beyond my reach,

left behind wondering why things fell apart,

nothing else to do but salvage the bones and begin again. So while


October I am surrounded yet alone,

October I accept it’s okay to not be okay,

October I release myself to the arms of those I love.


October: tomorrow’s whirlwind memory.

(October: swallowed by my mind.)

2 thoughts on “October by Mia Compton-Engle

  1. Mia,

    I love how this poem draws my eye down the page…like a falling leaf. You also used my favorite word (autumnal). Your use of vibrant imagery captures the crisp, piercing, brilliancy of October in Ohio. <3

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