Annual

By John Marshall

From the seat next to me, another nameless face says,
"I just don't see what all the fuss is about the Fall, it's
The same thing every year." I press my forehead to the
Clear glass, taking endless lessons in color and mixing
Which blur past. I recall singular branches from
Other years, and how their brilliant wounds have changed.

Perhaps a mantle of cloud covered up the sun too long on
Some late October afternoon, and forced the turn there in that
Early rush of maroon. Look at all these multicolored hues of
Each trees' vital fluids. There is more poetry in each
Leaf, and every tree is colored with more expression
Then human words.

Or perhaps these fallen leaves are like foil-wrapped
Coins, sitting on the greenish slats of picnic tables, or
Settling on fading flagstones and sagging eaves. They
Drift and wait for the oblivious, insatiate hands of winter
To collect them.


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