I noticed in the past week that all the leaves slowly turning in our previously lovely extended fall had been nipped by some unseasonable weather. The result was darkened leaves, curled up and dried out, clinging to the trees.
This isn’t like the oaks, some of which hold onto their leaves through the winter; mostly the leaves remind me of a Millay poem that ends “I tell you this across the blackened vine.”
Tonight when I left work, it had rained, and a front was coming through on some blustery wind. The leaves–nipped and loosened–were coming out of the trees like flocks of birds. Not only were they blowing through the air, but skittering down the streets ahead of traffic. I wished I had a camera, and thought of the phrase into the whirlwind as I watched some leaves circle up from the sidewalk like a swift column of smoke. So goes autumn.