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January 31, 2020

with a damp chill and shortening days
i drive past dorset through autumn’s peak
high above white clouds stroll puffed in promenade
held delicate together by slender contrails
and morning sun softly warms a crisp early breeze
sending lake shimmered ripples a cumulus mirror

i step into a forest roots firm canadian shield
feet meandering in search of a tickling leaf crunch
all the while drinking air soaked yellow orange red and brown
as in time the breeze grows unsettled around
a bluster that rips determined leaves from their perches
scattering like startled butterflies a colourful stochastic flutter

i walk alone thankful threatening nimbus halts its advance
and slip through the leaves past seasons years decades
transported from canada to new england’s roads
passing through time and space into a 70s country wagon
where the roads ever curving slides me across the trunk floor
as we slip on to gravel in search of a pumpkin pure

touching the pumpkin’s husk hurls me again into space
to boston’s freedom trail searching for faneuil’s fall festival
with autumn colors draping the worn graves of patriots
and the tickling crunch unchanged despite decades passing
through boston common king’s chapel down ever twisting walkways
while artists balance canvases and sketch with fingerlet gloves 

in a moment falling again through the city to rural vermont
winding through postcard towns and white painted gazebos
nestled still in rust textured appalachians
i step into waterbury hugged warm in a pea coat
strolling down uneven sidewalks past sleeping storefronts
to stir and crunch leaves from their wind structured stacks

finally falling surrounded the sweet scent of decay
burrowing deep into earth past shadow seeking light
until mildew and grey gives way newton’s morning
sunshine bright sparkling through orange-tinged edges
leaping out of the pile a burst of maple and elm
distant memories of youth when time had no meaning 

and now each fall passing and cycle of leaves
autumns behind me stacked higher than waiting ahead
i cling to each breath of crisp scented breeze
and try not to blink looking out over the trees
and listen to each crunch as i step through the leaves
until i catch a fell maple to welcome me home

fall colors photo copyright james morehead

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