Sunrise pours into the studio as usual

But this morning I think it looks further away

And I realize this is the first time in four years

That I’ve seen autumn colors on the shores of the lake.

When I heard the first gaggle of geese going south, giggling, 

I thought it was strange to not be in school

But I am grateful to still be learning.

Karen taught me to sew curves

And every day I am faster at converting

Yards to inches and back again.

Ten years ago today, I was still waiting

For my letter from Hogwarts to arrive.  

But now, every time I see the long arm quilting—

Unattended, computerized—

I think I’ve made it to the castle after all. 

I think the scariest transition is fall.

A lot of people ask me what I’m doing with my degree

At the studio, people just call me “lucky.”

Customers stop by on their way through town,

Here for a wedding, a conference, a trip north to see the foliage

I ask Karen if I can stick around

A few more months but I don’t say

this is the only place I’ve been since I graduated

where I don’t feel afraid.

My favorite poet reminded me that with luck,

I have maybe 68 autumns ahead of me

Increasingly I feel that won’t be enough

To sew with all of the fabric I think is pretty. 

How lucky I am to be starting so early.