In early fall, my walnut tree turns brown,
when, despite the season’s fanfare, its leaves
curl-up and shed. In just three weeks, the limbs
are bare, the sidewalk draped in drab confetti
children shuffle through on their way to school.
And all around, yellow birch and maple
festoon the hills with gaud and decoupage
the roads in rain-glazed scraps of gold and red
lapped in jigsaw patterns. Then day by day,
the light distills a blue so bright it burns
my eyes and graphs the walnut’s screen of stems
into a tracery that holds the sky
like bits of glass, no two alike, a globe
within a globe and made from what we breathe.