The long hand of fall
reaches gold and copper
into crimson,
deeper red than chill seasons
when early frost
curls and crackles
the first yellow wash.

I sweep away heart-shaped
leaves like litter, forgetting
their once generous and
cool shade.
They roll and crinkle
into dust.

Late October,
when trees fly up
into flames,
is only a resting place –

When round rays of sun
bend to warm the faded quilt,
the cat’s belly, and my hands
on the strong spine of your poems,
poems written as we move
toward winter’s withering
white peace –

I will remember
to fill my days.

            Rosanne Sterne