It is autumn
and the orange and red and gold rain
falls gently on the black earth.
Fragile ice creeps out from the edges of the pond
even as a mist rises from the mirror surface.
The fallen leaves turn mired black beneath my step
and the trees shiver in a wind tipped with frost.

I sit
and my favorite rock is stone cold beneath me.
A breath of winter tousles my hair
and shivers run down my spine.
But I am not alone, for in the distance
I can hear the faint cry of a bird
growing ever-closer, a chorus of sorrow.

I look up
and see the faint vee of snow geese
outlined soft and grey against the sparkling hard sky.
I watch as they rearrange their careful positions,
letting the leader fall back, another taking his place
to bear the brunt of the harsh winds that strive against them.
Such equality and self-sacrifice amazes me.

I wish
and somehow, I feel my very soul
has grown wings and strains against the earth.
I long to join their noble struggle of life and death,
encircling the very earth to continue the hoop of life.
Alas, here I sit under a drowsing tree, among sleepy
rodents, doomed to wait out the winter alone.