Monday, 31 August 2015

IN SEPTEMBER, WHEN THE SUMACS BLUSH


















Autumn strokes the days,
gentles dusk with chill
And trees begin to don
their frocks fall-fine
Colour is preeminent;
ask maples, oaks, or
silver birches.

But the showiest of all,
the loveliest say some
Start slowly, barely
noticeable at first
As if lit from within,
the sumac glows
deep crimson,
like embers in a fire

It takes real frost
to spread the scarlet,
compliment the gentle tree,
blush it carmine to its roots.
When deep frost hits,
the sumacs breathe
collective sighs and then,
they are ablaze.

Fierce  flames
burn hot to the touch,
it seems; but only briefly,
like actual flames
cannot sustain for long
they're gone too soon.

A week, two at the most,
they fade to dullest wine,
their death's complete
And herald winter,
waiting in the wings.

S.E.Ingraham
Sun.Sept.7.2008 (revised August 31.2015)