Just days ago, the sky beamed through

Rifts in a fluttering canopy

Of tulip-yellow leaves.

A comfortable place,

Where leaves rustled, birds cried out

And everything was bathed

In autumnal mother-light.

Suddenly, today, it is the dying season.

Broken places

show unconcealed scars

Where once were sturdy poplar-pillars

Holding back the sky.


Today that sky is nearer, pushing down grey haze

Between the cowering branches.

In eerie, whitening light, birds and trees fall silent:

A freezing breeze will be rising soon.

But underfoot, the solid ground thickens yellow

Carpeted in crackling, gorgeous piles of gold.

And children’s swishing feet

Make a joyful noise.

We have come here to play–

To make the growing leaf-pile crunch

To run and shout, fall and rustle, toss leaf-rain, and laugh.

So sheltered, less and less, from the weight of the opening sky,

We play among the treasures of the dying, living wood.