by Gary Hardaway

As I begin my seventieth year,
the late October air begins to breathe
the reds, russets, yellows and oranges
of autumn into leaves. For a few
vivid weeks, deciduous shrubs and trees
will seem to glow like flames and embers
of a warming fire and then the winds
will blow the radiant leaves away.

The austere limbs will give the world
the skeletal beauty of winter as winter brings
the possibility of snow. Each season has
its pleasures and beauties. Let me now
be grateful and observant as time
revolves through loss and joy.