Last week, I looked through my kitchen window, and caught my breath. The morning sun focused on my huge Japanese Maple and set it afire with color. I dried the dishwater off my hands and ran for my little camera. I attempted to catch a few snapshots before the impartial sun drifted on. Although her leaves had already decorated the exhausted flower beds below, and the driveway alongside, there still remained a glorious display. It was as though she saved the best for the last, to say to me, "Remember this on cold winter days, and hold the warmth of my fire in your heart." I did something I haven't done since I was a child; I found a nearly perfect crimson leaf and pressed it with an iron between pieces of waxed paper. This is the promise that beauty will come to me again next year, but for now this tree, so generous with her loveliness, is tired and needs a long rest. This thought reminds me of a poem I wrote several years ago about the passing of Fall:
The Party's Over
The mountains wait, stone silent
for Fall to go about her business
and depart with some dignity.
For the hills are now weary
of the gaudy season's riot,
and long for Winter's housekeeping
winds to blow the crumbs of rattling,
faded leaves down to valleys below.
As a beauty longs to remove makeup
and retreat from admiration,
so, the mountains yearn to pull up
snowy blankets and sleep a dreamless
winter, having set the relentless
alarm clock of Spring.
Send in your poems - deadline is April 30. - Here is a poetry contest our member poets can enter and possibly win a prize. The North Carolina Literary Review is giving nice prizes to the winners. Che...