I cannot kick a mound of maple leaves
or see a pumpkin peeking from the vine
before the frost and not remember hills
where summer laid her green. A distant line
of poplars gleams like curtains made of coins;
it shakes at passing clouds. And everywhere
the magpie hops, I see another sign
of hawthorns beckoning the winter air
to breathe upon the fields. It once was mine,
that sweet transition only autumn knows.
The one that holds the oak limbs silently,
embracing every chilly breeze that blows.
It leads me into mottled shadows of
a deeper hue, where nothing seems so true
as winter’s birth. Sometimes, I catch a glimpse
of it beneath the vines, when autumn’s through.