Autumn Turning Winter
All over autumn leaves have fallen.
Mountains that were colored like stained glass,
now, from far away, are mostly gray,
the color of limbs, branches and trunks.
And here, close by, the leaves of autumn
lay brown on the ground
having become work for the rake and its owner.
The forecast is for rain, then colder weather is moving in
like the murder of crows that lives near by, but visits often
as though they were a band of bored neighborhood kids
going from house to house looking for mild mischief
or just something to do.
Soon the crows fly away into the dark woods
and the only sound I hear
is the dog at my feet snoring.
I wonder what he is dreaming of.
I know he's surely a dreamer.
his running legs give him away.
In his slumber he is chasing blue cars,
or the red ball I've thrown in the backyard,
Chasing a brown rabbit or the gray squirrel
or maybe he is running from the dog catcher,
fleeing from the angry neighbor
or running to the house when lightning flashes
and thunder roars during a storm.
And the old folks say that it means
the devil is beating his wife.
And a chilly breeze shivers
through the trees outside.
A few remaining leaves flutter down
and I am the owner of the rake
and the cool of autumn and the winter cold
make my joints ache.
I have become stiff with age,
my hair gray like the branches,
my beard white as winter's first snow.
I know how the giraffe feels
when he is slow and calculating,
deliberately positioning himself
to drink from the waterhole,
let alone trying to stand up from the ground.
But I will take these old bones
and collect my rake from the shed
to gather the fallen leaves
as is my annual destiny and I'll blame it
on Adam as I always do.
It is, after all, his fault that I should work the land,
But how was he to know that the woman was trouble?
Eve was the only one he'd ever seen
He must have thought her so special,
Wonderful and enchanting
the way men look at women in airports
while waiting for their flights,
watching them walk down the concourses
beautiful to behold, denying that
they are really all the same
and bring with them drama and a headache,
But who can blame them?
They are not so different than winter.