Underway

The maple at the end of the lane
has begun to reflect a changing.  Subtle now,
but noticeable, there is a shading toward
a paler green, then a remembering of red
as brilliant as any flame, boisterous but muted
by the tinge of a more mellow maroon.

Calendar pages move at snail’s pace compared
to the turning leaves. Liver spotted yellow wanes
to philomot on the palette of fall. Sepia, demanding
to be seen, adds a vintage tone that mingles well
with the red oak’s russet attire.

Pine and birch and the stately elm, caught
in gossip, rustle as they bend their heads closer
to whisper of whose colors are bolder and who
wears the finest gold.  The stories are old
but not shopworn,

no more so than the nip of wind cavorting
in a madcap dance in step with the swirling leaves .
A matter of days and even the flashiest red
crackles brown in contrast to flamboyant orange
as multitudes of pumpkins delight furrow and field.
Autumn is underway.