Autumn Is Drumming
Oak and hickory trees surround a clapboard house
and a mahogany porch capped by a pine rail.
Acorns beat and tap in late summer,
percussion plays day and night.
They whack, crack, cascade down the roof,
sail in the air, thwack the deck, clink on slate,
ricochet off clapboards,
land with a whump in moss.
It’s raining nuts.
Snare, bass and timpani
strike out a beat in 3 and 9 time.
They pummel the house, yard and driveway
making a feast for crows, squirrels and moles.
Not long ago, this rain song meant bounty.
People would gather and eat acorns,
now we step on them, crunch them
and resent their knocking on the roof
Season tapers, song fades.
Oak trees beat one last roll
to send the red throated hummers south,
trees go silent when they leave.
Date published: September 20, 2017