Here leaves that quiver, red and gold,
foretell the coming of the cold—
when whiskey jacks drop in on campers,
and fish in reservoir and river
begin to sense the numbing breeze;
when sturdy boughs must bare themselves
to blizzards that will put a shiver
in the plumpest black-capped chickadees;
when neither woodchuck nor ground squirrel
climbs trees, combs Earth for food, or scampers,
yet dreams of spring, when ferns unfurl,
and once again the robin delves
into your lawn for worms to eat—
while somewhere south a bloom of wattle
says drought is coming in full throttle
to even out the balance sheet.