Three Poems

Joan McNerney

One Leaf Left
Photo Credit: Bev Currie

This Autumn

A flying carpet of
sugar maple leaves
unfurls along on my road.

Just enough light to glimpse
silhouettes of yellow trees
against the dove grey sky.

Tenacious… one leaf
clings to the bough
after today’s wind storm.

After evening showers,
a garden of bright stars

Amazing how many stars
fit inside my windowpane.


The Subliminal Room

That weepy October
marigolds were so full.
I made an omelet with
them. Do you remember?

All November, leaves
mixed with rain, making
streets slippery. We
listened mostly to Chopin.
Leaves droop in September
too ripe and heavy for
trees. I was careful
not to slip, dreading
when leaves would grow
dry and crumble.
Some live all winter
through the next spring.
Chased by winds, they
huddle in corners,
reminding me of mice.

I confessed to you
how I loved Russian
poets and waited for
a silent revolution,
revealing my childhood
possessed by rosaries
and nuns chanting Ave,
Ave, Ave Maria
. “Your
navel exudes the warmth
of 10,000 suns,” you said.

We still live in this
subliminal room.
Jonah did not want to
leave the whale’s stomach.
We continue trying to
decipher Chopin. Your
eyes are two bunches of
morning glories. Sometimes
the sky is so violet.
Will we ever live by the
sea, Michael, and eat
carrots? I do not want
my sight to fail. Hurry,
the dew is drying on the



Chimes tap against our
windowpane. This evening
becomes starry sapphire
as seagulls rise in
flight over rooftops.
Winds wrapping around
trees tossing leaves.

The courtyard is full of
aromas from dinnertime.
Shadows growing longer
each minute. Lights go
on and I wait for you.


Joan McNerney’s poetry has been included in numerous literary magazines such as Seven Circle Press, Dinner with the Muse, Blueline, Spectrum, three Bright Spring Press Anthologies and several Kind of a Hurricane Publications. She has been nominated three times for Best of the Net. Four of her books have been published by fine small literary presses. Email: poetryjoan[at]

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