Time of Afterglow

The steps lead to the end of summer,
Cool nights warn that soon all plants
Must be brought inside or die.
What was once green field of possibility
Will be shocked with coming frost.
Each step ascends into what will come.
This is what happens in life—
Coming to the painful dregs….
Last leaves dropping from trees,
Last sip of cold coffee in the mug,
Last bite of yesterday’s pizza.

Like sex after the wedding,
It’s exhausting to see it go,
This afterglow… not yet
Time for Indian summer.
But you know what’s coming,
Watching not flowers but blooming shadows,
The wilting grass….
Mind recedes and shivers,
Gathers harvest of warm memories.
You make lists and think of flannel sheets,
Heavy blankets, corduroy pants….

Though heat of sun still persists,
It’s moved on to the south,
This unfair tilting that lifts, moves,
Touches all who are afraid of death.
But it is not unseasonable—
With regularity it comes,
Like clockwork as green turns,
Carpets ground in red leaves
Before dissolving into nothing.

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