As much as I’ve started to embrace neutrals in my Eileen Fisher years, I’m getting tired of the solid brown and gray that is the November landscape and wanting some snow–“the easy way out.”


November for Beginners
by Rita Dove

Snow would be the easy
way out – that softening
sky like a sigh of relief
at finally being allowed
to yield.  No dice.
We stack twigs for burning
in glistening patches
but the rain won’t give.

So we wait, breeding
mood, making music
of decline.  We sit down
in the smell of the past
and rise in a light
that is already leaving.
We ache in secret,

a gloomy line
or two of German.
When spring comes
we promise to act
the fool.  Pour,
rain!  Sail, wind,
with your cargo of zithers!

November 1981