The real northern autumn
Kickstarts with a reminder
That the colors
And strong late sunshine
Were loss leaders

False promises to entice
The uninitiated
And serendipitous idiots

The reds and flame oranges
Lie brown and decaying
Now wet with mud
And constant rain

The poplars and oaks
Still cling niggardly
To what was alive
Months ago
But now hang like tinsel
From last year's Christmas tree

Apples once a projected pie
Or family outing
Now rotting under the trees
In the leaves and dead grass

The wind shrills under the door
And the forecaster forecasts

Doug McKenny is a customs broker
in Derby Line, Vermont

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Copyright © 1997 Doug McKenny/Log Cabin Chronicles/11.97