Fall Flare

We are at the tale end of fall, which has its own poignant beauty. I love when the leaves are sparser, like ornaments. I hope this finds you with all things wonderful and pumkin-y. My indulgence is pumpkin spiced lattes and if I am feeling extra worthy/low/anxious or hangry (hungry/angry), a slice of pumpkin bread too!

Fall Flare

I am trying to learn
the language of leaves,
each seems an illuminated page
from a manuscript
that was penned before my time.
Everyone is in on this,
tree bark darkens,
crisp as consonants,
lichen and fern plump,
tender as vowels.
On sidewalks and in gutters
sunshine captured confetti,
punctuation of the gods.

Once wet, the leaves,
like moist tissue paper,
surrender their will,
they are gilded shrouds
on stone and branch.
The driveway is no longer
a dull suburban semi circle,
now flecked with gold,
it is a moat of memory
reminding us of ancestors,
houses become gilded,
we are on horseback, clothed in capes.

It is a Homecoming dance on the hillsides,
this year, gowns of cranberry are in fashion.
Were the maples as red last year?
Did I have cataract surgery
while I was sleeping?

Has every autumn before this been ho hum?
This is the only one my son
urgently pointed out the window,
Mom look at the leaves falling!
as though we lived in Florida
and it was his first snowstorm.
A mother dropped off her child
and asked if I’d seen the October moon,
“it looks like a taco shell!”

This season, everyone is poet and mystic,
especially the coyotes loping at twilight,
the squirrels twitching with
purpose and prayer.
I ask the furry ones for tutelage,
how to be with such beauty,
but the dog, with his scent
ten thousand times stronger than mine,
is too busy with bouquets
of leaf mulch to answer.
We are living the color wheel,
attending marriages,
the grooms and brides are hues
named Kelly and Titian, Scarlet and Sapphire.

I once heard people don’t like poetry
because it asks us to be vulnerable.
Perhaps such is why we avoid nature as well,
for when the clouds lift
the sky is at once
every stained glass window,
the horizon almost too benevolent to bear.