Sonnet for the Kalends of September

Summery daylight and bewintered night
compete for purple aster’s attention.
Under frowning cumulus, geese take flight.
Rotting oak loses an ancient stanchion,
and birches flutter yellow leaves to earth.
Nettle droops though its prickles still hold force;
black walnut falls to wait for winter berth.
Brook stutters and pinches her summer course,
shallowing before autumn rains begin.
Every hour opens more ground to sun
as trees, like snakes, shed their annual skin
to join crisp leaf-bed where grouse and quail run.
Suspicion of frost lingers on each dusk,
as drying corn-silk on abandoned husk.

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