California Fall, 2020

by Joanne Jagoda

Fall arrived with its hurly burly ways

leaves descending and twirling

in their carefree spinning dance

shouting in burnt umber, red and orange

a glorious pageant of fall colors

seasonal smells of cinnamon and spice

market stalls boasting stacks of fat pumpkins

waiting for carving magicians


even though we lost summer

our lazy carefree days stolen away

beach trips and family picnics absconded

fall snuck in like an unruly marching band

bringing in windstorms, heat waves

and deadly wildfires


the inexorable cycle of the seasons

won't be halted even by the virus

trick or-treaters settled for half empty candy bags

Thanksgiving plans curtailed

dinners set up  outside in backyards

empty seats at our table


Yes fall arrived like a favorite uncle

we have been eagerly awaiting

though he sometimes makes trouble

and we didn't welcome him with open arms

just a quiet “glad you're here”

that will have to do for now