On the bare trees now are chickadees and blue jays. Fat gray squirrels forage alone, the foxes having eaten their fill.
The oaks have dropped their leaves, slippery on the ground. One leaf, held up for inspection, was massive, as big as a person’s head–an intimidating leaf from a tree much smaller than the robust pines bordering the property. The pine needles were dainty, filigreed, fragrant. They dusted the drive and laced the yard in orange.
Hoarfrost on the pachysandra, turns to broken, rusted leaves. Long, dark nights, snow piling down. Time to close doors and live secretly, as the Hmong, hiding in banana huts, waiting for liberation or death.