Trees of bronze and amber drip rusty leaves onto the forest floor.
Mistletoe, like giant Christmas baubles, adorns naked branches.
A rift in the forest is a window onto verdant farmland fanning out to a hazy horizon.
Walking paths, like worm casts, wind around the edge of a lake,
where toddlers pedal frantically on small plastic bikes,
couples stroll hand-in-hand and runners huff-and-puff like steam trains.
A bashful autumn sun ekes out the last droplets of warmth onto thirsty faces
and angel wings are imprinted, lightly, on a cerulean sky.
Far below, a fountain, rising from the lake like an oil geyser, shoots for the moon.
Sparrows skitter across the drooping remains of summer wildflowers,
and a silent heron glides like a ghost across the water,
wings spread-eagled, lanky legs loosely dangling.
We picnic by a pond dimpled with ducks and geese,
and feathered with cast-off foliage,
while the sun melts slowly down the sky…