Before the first blush of red kisses the top leaves of

My maple tree I sense the approach of autumn

from a certain essence in the still-warm air

It reminds me not quite of dying, but

The way tea is when it’s gone cold in the cup

Or an apple is after it sat too long



Long before the weight of old leaves became too much

For the oaks to bear, the soil was already weary

From pushing so much green

While we sat under a yellowing sun

Conversing while we could. Refusing to heed

The birds on the telephone lines, making ready

For their leaving

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