Fall is Here

Fall’s not just coming; it’s here;

everything in his yard says so;

the leaves falling to the ground

whisper, “Fall is here,” just as

they settle down for a long win-

ter’s nap under layers of snow

and ice. The goldfish in the

pond sit very still because the

water is below 45 degrees, but

they still bubble up affirmation

that fall is here; when the bub-

bles pop on the surface one after

another, the man, if he listens

very closely and quietly hears –

pop fall, pop is, pop here. The

man who listens to the leaves

and fish, also knows it’s fall

because he hears the loud buzz-

ing, like a billion big, African killer

bees swarming the neighborhood,

of his neighbors’ leaf blowers

drowning out the gentle sounds

of the leaves and fish. The blowers

blow the leaves into a pile; the neigh-

bors rake the leaves into heavy-duty

paper bags or blasted, black plastic

which are left at the edge of their

driveways for the garbage man to

haul away and dump unceremoni-

ously into the city landfill like so much

garbage; unlike the man, the neigh-

bors won’t hear the leaves ann-

ounce that it’s spring as they curl

up and join the their ancestors

in the sacred backyard burial

ground and the fish say, “pop

thank, pop you,” as the man

plugs in the pump so the upper

pond will fill with water and

water will tumble down, splash-

ing quietly its approval that spring

is here, into the big, lower pond

bringing food which accumulated

over the winter to the very hungry

and active fish now that the water

temperature is above 45 degrees.

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