One day, I notice a crunch of leaves beneath my feet,
The fading final blooms of wild asters brushing my shoulders.
I spy the orb web of an araneus spider blowing in the wind.
The morning mist sends a chill down my cheek,
When only days ago, the mist had me whispering a quiet, “Ahhh!”
The fields, once filled with clumps of multicolored leaves and mushrooms
Are now deeply covered in deep, crisp, and ruffled leaves of brown.
The tempting smoothness of buckeyes, sends young children,
Out into the fields to gather them, smooth, round, tempting, into baskets.
I reach down and find one, memories, flooding in.
Though pines are not supposed to shed leaves, it seems that they do.
Perhaps not all at once, but I can gather them as mulch for my azaleas.
A silent flock of nameless birds flies overhead, southward bound.
Only their silhouettes against the creamy blue sky reveals their path.
I wonder where their flight will lead them, what they seek.
With a sudden gasp, the heat of summer becomes early autumn
and then a chill sweeps the land, dries the leaves, calms the growing.
I wander among the fading leaves and fallen mast crops,
Thinking of the difficult days ahead, that first snow flake.
Soon, I will hunt for the first sprig of green. Time, life, leaves me breathless.