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It’s the end of October now, And we finally had the first day of autumn; Summer has held the valley hostage Extra long this year; Forcing the rain to circle away, Leaving the crops thirsty and withered. Part of my family lives in places Where they think it’s a drought If it hasn’t rained for ten days, And they think it’s a heat wave If the temperature soars into the 80s. They have forgotten the dry twigs rattling, And the dust-devils dancing, And the sand in the creek beds, Flickering in the heat that weighs heavy in the lungs. This year, summer just decided to hang on, Oppressively still and full of misery. There has been no relief from the valley wind That has moved only enough To shift the thick, greasy, particle-laden air Where it can more effectively obscure The restorative view of the mountains Rising above the summer. But today the wind has changed, Bringing a freshness out of the south and east With a hint of moisture and coolness, Swirling ‘round corners and rushing through branches; Pushing against me as I cycle through the early morning To finally turn and ride swiftly with the autumn current, Racing the leaves down the Sugarpine Trail.
Birch Leaves
Cycles Photographic Art and Writing by Frank Saxton