Elegy for Summer’s Passing

 The dawn broke
red, pink.
Feathery clouds exhaled
across an early horizon.
It spoke of a fair day
for picnicking
blanketing the field
with tablecloths,
dishes of roasted fall
vegetables, baguettes,
tangy cheeses,

these last days of summer’s stubborn
warmth stalling the rush of autumn’s
chill temperament. Even so,

 few birds chorused 
holding on to branches
turning golden leaves,
turning the landscape
toward the bitter season,
shedding oak and maple,
the verdant vistas
for those now
growing barren.
The hillock, the vale

offered a sustained sigh of regret
as shadows lengthened quickly
on the shortened day. Still, the tableau

was drawn, the wine drunk
the plates emptied.
The afternoon hurried on.
Dusk wrapped
our suddenly somber party
in a conspiracy of silence
as we, aware
of the meddling
of time,
gathered what crumbs
into our cupped palms.

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