Hoarfrost glistens, burns away
from pumpkins strewn in disarray
through rows of cornstalks sere and dead,
orange beach balls on a dusty bed.
Frantic chipmunks race around
filling caches underground.
Harvesting the final crops
before the veil of winter drops.
Flocks of robins crowd bare limbs,
reluctant pawns of nature's whims.
Accepting, though, the web is spun
they lift their wings and rise as one.
Lazy groundhogs stand their posts.
Fat and sleepy, willing hosts.
Straw-filled mattresses will keep
the marmots snug through winter sleep.
Fields of stubble cross the land
as autumn gains the upper hand.
Acrid smoke curls to the sky
from red-gold pyres of leaves raked high.
Regal stags in rutting stage
challenge peers with growing rage.
Muscled necks swelled from desire,
Lowered heads and eyes of fire.
Sluggish bears gorge acorn mast.
augmenting weight for winter fast.
Massive boars and sows with cubs,
shred rotted logs for ants and grubs.
A time to harvest, stock-up shelves,
(not only nature, but ourselves)
to reach for strengths where none exist,
to forge ahead, endure, persist.
Bright and brisk, clear autumn days
evict the cloying summer haze.
When fall moves in, the rush is on;
so little time before it's gone.
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