I love waking to a morning chill,
bathed by breezes announcing Fall.
Sultry summer heat … gone!
mosquitos … gone!
Cool winds lift the shroud over
the distant Smoky Mountains.
The morning walk, slower these days,
invigorates my aging gait and thoughts.
Crisp air caresses my skin.
Everywhere signs of change.
Leaves turn russet and gold
The neighbor’s maples sway all afire,
and rusty-red dogwoods smile back.
Breathtaking colors … soon to fade.
Summer’s chlorophyll has done its work
Rich sugars descend into root cellars below,
safe beyond winter’s freeze.
Up top, Nature exits the season in
a fireworks display.
Soon, those neon colors will fade to brown,
and leaves fall.
Homeowners rake them to the street.
Gardeners haul some back on tarps
to replenish tired soil,
Smaller workers, earthworms and microbes,
help process this mulch for Spring planting.
In daydreams, I see the woody architecture overhead,
stark but strong,
Towering branches stand guard over those below,
limbs and holes shelter feathered and furry friends.
Come Spring, green buds will again burst forth,
renewing the ancient cycle.
— Nick Della Volpe, Knoxville TN; firstname.lastname@example.org