Ode to Autumn

By Emily Roberts

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Autumn, you were an August away;
I feel you draw near to stay.
No longer will the sun scorch the lawn midday.
The grass will turn to straw and then to hay.
The mountains turn from green to red. The fields of gold
Encourage the wind to claw my hair. Songs of old
Begin to crawl and sing into homes, into no longer cold
Hearths. Scarves and hats stir from closets; pumpkins are sold
Along main street. Coffee wafts through the air;
I hear the cawing crow as I prepare for a good scare.

The leaves on the trees whisper in the breeze
And the cool wind tickles the skirt at my knees.
Acorns loosen and fall for squirrels to collect and gnaw.
My tabby chases those squirrels with maw
Open, proceeding to fall into the water pail.
Purple and red and orange and yellow never fail
To amuse as the hues flutter to earth, to become earth,
To become the fertile dirt my father will use to birth
New growth in the garden. There, he harvests
The vegetables, and he’ll go to the couch to rest.

Hayrides, firesides, late night joyrides; the owls hoot
As the world grows dark. The masquerade takes root.
Children, grown-ups, all under disguise
Cooking up backstories of someone’s demise
As they sit and eat sweets that may rot their teeth.
But how it’s fun to walk and say, “Trick or treat!”
In the soupy, spooky night, ghosts and spirits take flight
And may a black cat bless you before night turns bright
And our Earth continues to spin and grin;
There’s warmth in the houses within.

This is the time where nature must die.
Jack O Lanterns rot black and grey, the birds fly
From the cold. Nature has ways to survive.
The acorns aren’t found. The bees no longer thrive.
I sit at my window, watching the clouds roll by,
observing escaping leaves from the fire, swirling into the sky.
Burning leaves sting my eyes and clog my lungs.
There are muddy boots; worn out coats hang on rusty wall rungs.
Dark purple circles under our eyes. A red drippy nose.
Yellowing teeth from sugary foods, chipped orange polish on toes.

Autumn, you have your intricate show
Of colors and coolness and sleeping critters below
meadows. But, I see that you so slowly kill
The living green vibrancy; do you do this with ill
Intent? I walk now, casting my shadow
Among the bare woods, the hollow
Oak howls that winter is approaching fast.
We must bask in the fading warmth while it lasts.
Embrace the warmth and the cool Autumn brings
And keep in our hearts the songs the winter bird sings.

About Emily Roberts

Emily Roberts has had her works of literary fiction presented at the annual Sigma Tau Delta convention, along with winning an award for her work. She is pursuing a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Creative Writing Education along with a Bachelor of Arts in English Education at Arkansas Tech University.

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