Leaf by leaf, the trees let down their gold;
everything returns to dirt: stem,
bark, twig. The corn stalks have dried
to papery whispers, speak a new language
in the wind’s harsh breath. It’s October, when
leaf means loss, and bird means go. Today,
the grass glitters greenly, freshened by last week’s
rain, and fallen apples, red and yellow, dot
the lawn. You and I are trying to get a fire
going again; we crumple up papers, snap twigs
for kindling, haul in logs from the wood pile.
Sparks fly up the chimney. Everything burns.

Barbara Crooker, “Leaf Light
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