Richard S. Wells

A November Day

That 42 degree day found the Merrimack
full and towering Red Maple's broad
leaves mostly fallen and burnt in death.
Yet some splay in rust with yellow veins.

A pair of New Hampshire state employees
walked off the late lunch of the near
retired, past Franklin Pierce's grave
as cool winds ushered on November's debris.

One reach down to snag a leaf from the
low growing Checkerberry, pinching it
to draw it's wintergreen scent.

A slightly warmer Scranton found young
mothers pass the last school hours in
Nay Aug Park. Littered with dark brown
acorns it's Northern Red Oak skirted

with deep furrowed bark, branches still
clinging to most it's bright red, sharp
point leaves. Large Fothergilla shrubs
display blue-green and russet leaves.

Two boys play hooky in the tallest oak
after tiring of skipping rocks across
the Lackawanna River.

A third generation dairy farmer sat quiet
on an Appalachian ridge over Henry Lake.
He lean against the marbled trunk of a
Paperbark Maple and watched the V shaped

valley for a deer. In the lower 47 degree
vale on loamy soil grew Wintersweet, sparsely
displaying sulpher yellow flowers. He drew
on his Lucky Strike not caring if he saw prey.

He was content with the fragrance and
peace of his beloved Tennessee.

In Dallas it was 58 degrees.
A limousine sped to a hospital
with a dead man and his pretty wife.
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