Autumn apocalypse

by Ed Higgins

Beneath maples, oaks, and birches

an autumn apocalypse empties unruly brightness

onto lawns, sidewalks, the shoulders of watchers

and passers by. Whole drifts of madder yellow,

reds, and earth browns loosed to mould and

the gardener's insufficient rake. By twos, twenties,

more, November jolted branches loose their color.

It is summer's final uncoiling, fall's harsh rhetoric

of leaf upon leaf let down, turning apex, flat margin,

base, serrated edges, settling, scattered to ground into

mellifluent lost syntax. Branch, trunk, and root hoard

only green memory now.