I feel it most in autumn:
this lengthening shadow of my day.
Autumn's gold is mellow,
no spendthrift heat that burns
the hours and exhausts the heart.
The essence of its tempered light
instils a strength which grows
through quietness and sustains.
More than half my span has gone,
undisturbed by holocaust or harm:
quietly as shed leaves
the paid hours have fallen,
so many and some misspent.
No point in counting loss.
Pointless, too, to make complaint.
I am not deprived. Gently
in the mellow wash of autumn gold
I think of my day's past hours
as blown leaves lightly turned
by nothing more but nothing less
than chance and change: inescapable
subtle airs. So I feel it most,
always in the gentle season:
uninhibited the long limb
of memory turns the mould
of old leaf fall to reclaim
the morning of my life and all
its promise of unpaid gold.