The End of Autumn

 

might be confused by some with the beginning

of winter as if the two were seamless, intertwined

 

like identical twins who when young

were dressed exactly alike by their parents.

 

But look at them now—they know they are separate

enough to listen so closely, to feel the breath

 

of each other before daring to engage

in one of their own. The leaves know too.

 

They mourn over how they were beautiful

once, causing gasps of delight from suitors.

 

But now their beauty is merely a memory,

a nuisance really. They hang around

 

underfoot like unruly children who misbehave

whenever the adults are not around to watch.

 

They end up dragged inside to rebuke those of us

too cowardly to venture outdoors and take on

 

tantrum winds. Like the leaves, we remain

watching our lives suspended between seasons,

 

hoping for a frigid moon to whisper our name

in the shadows, waiting for winded trees to bend

 

toward us, to push us forward, downward,

any direction, to give our lives at least some momentum.

 

Rich Luftig