Autumn Botany

By A. E. Stallings

You who have learned your lessons know
Trees do not turn to red,
But secretly were also so,
Raging within their shade,

And underneath faience of green,
The mask of chlorophyll,
Smoldered molten gold and crimson
Long before the fall.

Behold: they burn now like love letters
Lately set ablaze,
Gilding squalid streets and gutters,
Angry to amaze.


Originally published in Able Muse. Reprinted with permission of the publisher.