Verse > Anthologies > Harriet Monroe, ed. > Poetry: A Magazine of Verse, 1912–22
Harriet Monroe, ed. (1860–1936).  Poetry: A Magazine of Verse.  1912–22.
Tosti’s Goodbye
By Walter McClellan
In a Southern Garden

VERY still she has stood by the stucco wall,
In the fine dust, in the piccaninnies’ tracks.
Now that she is going—does no one see her, no one care?
“Indian summer still is here!” cry the virgins on the walks,
In their old tight muslins and cashmere shawls.        5
But freer than wood-smoke she steals from the yard
When the last leaves go,
Dropping one by one on her moving head,
On her hair as soft as cotton when the bolls are bursting open
In November, in the fall:        10
Dead leaves that touch the maidens—forty-one and thirty-nine—
Rousing in their hearts all the sharp sweet cries
Their mouths have never said;
Till the held-down sighs go flying on before,
Small faint flutters in the thin gold air        15
Blown like feathers to that gleaming head.
And lo, blackbirds are there, feet and wings in her hair!
“How they swirl against the sun,” says Josephine to Rose.

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