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I thought I could find everything on the internet. What a shock it was to fail in such a simple task as finding a poem on the long-awaited appropriate day for it. Here’s the story.

When we were in elementary school – called grammar school back then – we had to memorize poems. Some were of historical importance, some famous works of literature. I was always ahead of the curve in the learning because the syllabus did not change much from year to year and my sister was two grades ahead of me in school. We used to lie in bed at night, Paula practicing her poem of the week and I listening and learning, because she already knew mine. Some were more exciting than others.

We can still recite much of Barbara Frietchie, a 60-verse poem by John Greenleaf Whittier that offered a not-so-authentic window into Maryland history. How it stirred our patriotism with its Civil War theme and vivid images! (Read an amusing commentary, “Barbara Frietchie: Who Really Waved that Flag?” on the internet).

William Cullen Bryant’s, To A Waterfowl is lost to me in all his “thy’s” and “those’s,” as is Ode to a Grecian Urn, but the poem I love the most comes back on this date each year, if only with the first two verses, like an old friend coming to visit on its birthday. And today the weather is a perfect welcome for October’s Bright Blue Weather:

The goldenrod is yellow, the leaves are turning brown. The trees in apple orchard with fruit are bending down

I’ll have to call my sister to fill in what the internet has not provided. Hopefully, between us we can remember it all. If not I have just to walk outside, look around and breathe in the beauty…