October’s End

Crossing Paths

Our neighbor’s apple orchard looks sadly bare,
the harvest’s bounty now pressed into cider and jam.
In the fields, pumpkins and gourds have succeeded
summer’s bumper crop of watermelons,
long gone off to Fourth of July picnics and
family reunions.

moon2_0

By sunset our last pile of leaves had been raked,
left glowing orange in a lazy bonfire, its wispy
shaft of smoke curling upward in the chilly twilight.
Autumn’s lackluster constellations can’t compete
with this evening’s gibbous moon, rising golden
just over the eastern horizon, silhouetting
a lonely grove of bare-boned maple trees.

This year’s festive All Hallows’ Eve begins
to wane into sleepy solemnity as packs of
costumed children retreat indoors to inspect
their cache of candies while jack-o-lantern faces
gradually go dark. Excited laughter dissipates,
leaving the night to echo only the rhythmic
chirping of crickets and an occasional hoot
from a hidden barn owl. My midnight hike

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