Waiting for the Traffic Light

Red autumn leaves carpeting the ground. By Jim. CC-BY-SA 2.0.

Red autumn leaves carpeting the ground. By Jim. CC-BY-SA 2.0.

The Old Spice starts
To seep from my armpits
Under the heat of the October sun
Burning the right side of my face
At four in the afternoon.

In my path on the sidewalk
Like canaries in Nature’s mineshaft
Are strewn the carcasses of a hundred leaves.
They warn us in death:
Winter is coming!

And the trees in late color—
Mustard, burnt orange—
Are like an ugly upholstered chair
From the seventies,
But these,
These are beautiful.

The lingering echoes of
June, July, and August
Are resonating one last time.
But the wind is in the leaves
And soon will set
The hot October sun.

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