The Seasons Turn by Polly Stretton
the beechnuts consumed or rotting
in the now-fallen foliage.
When people come
they'll walk this straight path,
see boulders lined shoulder-to-shoulder,
stroll beneath soon-to-be-bare frames
of slender trees.
In the avenue they'll be safe
if they take care;
light and large-wheeled phaetons stay upright,
but tip-tilting curricles must beware!
As they pass, the leaves swirl and twirl
before settling once more.
Artists arrive, all chatter and clatter,
paints, palettes and easels;
they point and name the colours:
oxblood red, sable brown, topaz, ochres, and charcoal black;
hints of olive and pistachio green remain,
as if to be tasted.
While, hovering around the corridor of trees
amethyst tints imbued with light and shade
applaud as the scent of winter approaches.
These are the minutes,
all the wishfulness,
every heartfelt loss and glorious gain
of our times.
As many wishes as leaves on the ground,
thought of as often as the burrs of autumn.
And the seasons turn.