"Gregory Miller is a fresh new talent
with a great future."
- Ray Bradbury
In Four Autumns, his first full collection of poetry, Gregory Miller provides a fascinating series of insights into four different arenas of the human condition, all mirrored through the season of greatest transition: Autumn. As the leaves change on the trees, beautifying the world through their final acts, Autumn culls up fond memories and present anxieties, stinging loss and clarity of vision. These poems, a mosaic of experience, do likewise.
Gregory Miller's first novel, Big Cicadas, was published in 2003. His work has appeared in a number of national publications, including Distant Echoes, Rosebud, and the anthology In The Arms of Words. His first chapbook of poetry, Snow and Sand, was printed by FootHills Publishing in 2003. In 2004 he served as a consultant on Houghton Mifflin's The Lord of the Rings online curriculum guide. He lives in Pittsburgh with his wife, Vera, where he teaches high school English.
What We Want Now
Seventeen and Sunday
A Sudden Change of Pace
You Should Know Better
…Day In, Day…
She is 90
The Red Satchel
The Book Sale
The Apple Tree
In Armstrong County
From the book:
Where Fall is always
gentle with welcome
gusting winds blowing
down in rainbow
From pine drawer Grandpa's shirts emerge,
Twenty years lost, smelling of mothballs,
Treasures found during Grandma's Spring Cleaning.
She takes them out slow, no doubt sensing
Possibility in perfect folds, starch, collars pressed -
Burdens of loss unburied, sorrow dusted off,
Yet a chance to pass on what was once her pride,
To reforge fragments of old life for new.
"Do you want these?" she asks. "I doubt they'll fit."
I sit, try one on, starch crackling out creases,
Certain sleeves will hang down below hands,
Tails sway below knees - a blanket, a tent,
A billowing shirt-shaped robe.
Great sands of years made Grandpa giant:
Huge hands, broad shoulders, he filled all rooms
With the nature of my awe,
The stature of my love.
But now shoulders stretch cloth,
Elbows strain seams, neck nape
Bulges beneath collar buttons pulled taut,
Two decades of growth confined and
Fighting against the limits of stationary linen.
"I didn't think so," Grandma says, face pale.
"Goodwill tomorrow - They'll have to go."
"No," I say, surprising her and me.
They're still too big, these shirts too small.
I take them all.
"Someday I'll grow." I shut the drawer.
"Some day they'll fit." We shut the door.
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