HomeSouthern VoiceThe Cold Coming

The Cold Coming

by Ronald J. Pelias

After weathering two hurricanes, after
a summer of relentless, record-breaking
heat, after the rains flooded the back garden,
flowers on this autumn morning still dare
to appear. I walk in the slanted light filtering
through the trees from plant to plant noticing.
Each flower, a last breath, stands in defiance
of the lessening of its surrounding leaves.
Only the chrysanthemum with its rounded
orange head seems unaware of what’s to come.
Sitting among Halloween’s skeletons, it notes
how thin its potted neighbors have become.
I feel the chill through my gray jacket, ready
myself for winter, for our final diminishment.


Ronald J. Pelias was born and raised in New Orleans and now lives in Lafayette after years of teaching at Southern Illinois University and the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. He spent most of his career writing books, including If The Truth Be Told published by Sense/Brill Publications; and The Creative Qualitative Researcher and Lessons on Aging and Dying, both published by Routledge; that call upon the literary as a research strategy. Pelias now writes for the pleasures and frustrations of lingering in bafflement. Read his previous poem in Deep South here.

Her Skeleton is the