When November stretched its skin across the sky

fall fell fast as a maple flange closed

east of the setting sun.

There was no time to wait the warbler's song,

nor almost taste the cedar wash the wind.

No chance to feel the leaf-plash underfoot

down wooded pathways only lonely kestrels know.

No time to see the leaf-down rain

print the morning air vermillion.

No time sift the seasons

and gather feelings firm

because a nearby junco swore

that snow was on the way.


Jerome L. McElroy


*Accepted Poetpourri (1993).