Acorns scatter where children used to play,
where long-sleeved shirts wrapped
around waists by lunch recess.
Summer foliage lingers.
Shorter days promise, “Just not yet.”
Geese honk near dusk.
Evening rains portend the earth’s shift.
Before any shotgun, before the first frost,
deer slip into the field’s darkness.
There are no crops to harvest, the land
no longer a farm.
Brambles conquer the former garden
and I am no longer a youngster.
Each autumn redeems the past.
Memory in oak roots,
vibrations of all who pass,
drop to the ground again
and feed the squirrels.
My dog considers each acorn a rose.
I long for the forest’s campaign ribbons,
yellows, reds, and orange -
dress and ceremony before winter.
William W. Fraker has published a book of poetry, Nostalgia Resides in the Marrow, had a poem accepted in the premiere issue of the Virginia Literary Journal, and had three poems accepted in The Aquillrelle Wall of Poetry, Book Six.