i. First thought
The leaves are in their retirement. For some, it’s the best
time of life: a free fall, or free-for-all, having paid one’s dues
and — albeit less than cordially — shaken hands
with mortality. And what a show, the leaves’ late coloratura!

ii. Second thought
By the mill in Broadalbin, at the pond’s ardent request,
leaves step into the role of autumn water lilies, adrift in twos
and threes on lily pads of cloud. A crowd of evergreens stands
in the first ring, not leaving. Nor do I, the reviewer.

This article originally appeared in The New Criterion, Volume 16 Number 4, on page 35
Copyright © 2017 The New Criterion | www.newcriterion.com
newcriterion.com/issues/1997/12/brilliant