Slowly, without a sound, smoke wreathes and curls
Round a cold length of wild wind, blasting through the canyon;
Autumn clings to the mist that stretches out of sleepy riverbends
And whispers weighty words through rusted alpine branches,
Telling the trees a secret that the mountains and their frosted ridges
Fall has arrived to the valley.
Like us, sullen peaks have not yet forgotten
The deep and lively colors of a breathless season, bleeding from clouds
Which hold fresh promises of snow. This time, the end of summer’s reign
Is the great beginning of it all—the elk are rutting, the brown trout spawning,
Furred bears fattening— making room for fall.