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