These mornings, now, that mark off the
sloping path to autumn,
catch and hold the quiet beauty of the year.
Small roads thicken with seed-heavy grass
and jewel-rich berries draw darkness down.
These hedges ripen with silence now –
only the rough-edged clack of magpies
and the liquid beauty of fading birdsong remain.
Somewhere in the distance
a key turns in the golden cage of morning.
I sit here – at peace. Leave
the door open. The key may lie,
hesitant, in the lock;
I will not try to leave.
A board member of Women Aloud NI and a professional member of the Irish Writers Centre, Anne McMaster is a regular reader at poetry events in Dublin, Belfast, Bangor, Derry/Londonderry and the northwest. She works as a theatre director and playwright and runs creative writing classes across NI. Her poetry has been published extensively in the USA, Canada, the UK and Ireland.