Everybody here knows what you mean
when you say, “The colors,” especially now,
the second day in October. They know
you’re talking about leaves turning away
from green — as in the yellows of elm and cottonwood,
the red-orange maple, the purple-red ash and aspen gold.
But only because we live here. Someplace else, where a year
is not so divided by seasons, colors
means something else — as in a knitter’s choice of skeins,
a budding artist’s paints for her work
in progress, a chef’s arrangement of aubergines
nestled against purple baby potatoes
and yams as bright as, yes, the turning leaves.
Colors — as in every shade surrounding
the second day of October, the day this year
when my mother would have turned eighty
and I remember that she loved palette words:
and all the brightest reds
of the turning leaves.
~Monica Sharman, “The Colors” from Monica Sharman Editing
I’m wistful about the flame-out of color happening now – autumn leaves have been so exorbitantly boisterous and vibrant that watching the trees undressed by the wind feels unseemly and scandalous. They seem more naked than usual because their costuming has been so extravagantly rich for weeks.
I’m depleted of exuberant words to describe the landscape so will just settle in behind my retinas and enjoy what’s left for dessert. I’m satiated and ready for a nap.
Through the deep of winter, as I close my eyes, visions of reds and golds and oranges will continue to dance merrily in my head.