Cooling the Blue Ridge leaf by leaf,
Bronze, copper, and scarlet flame
While the morning moon burns white in blue.
Umber splotches rosy dogwood,
And birds snatch at candy-berry clusters.
My face upturns to catch the sun’s glow
Through lidded eyes.
The wind stirs twigs and branches,
Brushing leaves back and forth,
And a dry rain falls,
Early frost pales the trees and
Thins chirping, buzzing, whirring
Call-and-response night song.
I mourn the rasping choir.
I look for the farmer’s geese,
Snowy flecks in a browning field.
But he has sold them,
And the pasture gate swings, half-open.