This season demands so much
attention it has two names,
as if we could ignore Autumn
without the Fall. October fans
its leaves in vanity, colorfully spread
like a peacock posing
for photographs. The wind whistles
through them as if
it does us a favor. We’re listening.
The sun lazes low in the sky, refusing to climb
higher, taunting us with tantalizing heat
evaporating in the atmosphere
just beyond our reach.
The leaves eat the grass in November
swallow the ground completely
until all I hear is the chewing
underfoot. The wind blows silent through
pursed lips, impotent
in the cacophony crunching colorfully
under marching feet pressing
towards December and the frost.
No matter how proud the season it must give
way to the next, one generation follows
another thinking it knows better
& it always Falls the same.
We walk this fall day – a few
more gray hairs than last – beneath
the leaves – rusted coppers
replacing youthful greens – clinging
to the only home they’ve ever known,
on the verge of their final voyage, that
rambling trek to what they know not.
This expedition under gray skies
takes us through the misty uncertainty
of that next great adventure, while
leaves search for courage to brave
one last tour – a change in altitude
if not attitude – of the crisp breezes
softening their descent to a new home.
Fall birthdays are the best. Balloons
seem superfluous to the colorful, animated
trees – playing backdrop for the festive
gathering of friends and family –
painted with reds and oranges and yellows.
Even the browns feel alive
before jumping to the ground,
smiling to their final resting place.
Give me red of rosy cheeks
bitten by an autumn breeze.
Give me orange of pumpkin patch playgrounds
alive with laughter.
Give me yellow of hayrides hopping
down dusty roads removing harvest’s veil.
Bring me fall. Bring me bewitching days
and crisp nights hinting
at the cold to come, burning
birthday candles lighting the way.
The harvest moon breathes
deep tonight, sharing spices
from the cornucopia of pumpkin oranges
and warm apple reds
cooling in the autumn breeze
tossing leaves through the air
like cinnamon confetti celebrating
another summer’s retreat.
As squirrels snack on acorn squash
preparing for the unflinching onslaught
of gray, dull winter, I sip
on apple cider awed
by the colors of nature confident
in this moment
the moon will never exhale
and fall will never dwindle.