This, the mountain.

The trill in your chest.

Those lungs, strong elastic maids.


It’s autumn. The air is warm

With leafmold. Everything

Is on fire. The heat of life dries


To a brilliant crisp. Your feet

Solid atop death’s sodden colors.

[and beneath you, the legs


which have brought you this far.]

You watch the change. A carnelian

Sugar maple leans into scintillating


Scarlet of red maple. Your thoughts

Leave an uncatchable echo, pleasantly lost

In the lurid river birches’ yellow.


You are auburn, you are beech. You watch

The change from inside it.

You stand at its foot with your human life.