She is working on her patchwork. She never finishes, just sets it aside for a time to rest her eyes. She waves and drops her sunshine-ray hanky; the waning hours are illustrated in early arriving evenings and bright mornings. Her proper name is Autumn. Ripe and lovely when young. Melancholy, cold and thin and yearning for a warm blanket at the end of her days. Fall is her nickname. It suits her. She can be a song to be hummed, a window open to one last warm breeze or shut tight and frosty. A door timidly closing, a last sweet glimpse at life, dead leaves scattered. Mostly, a curtain pulled slowly over the earth. Its design brown calico, white-edged with snowy muslin and pine needle accents stitched throughout; embroidery is her passion, of course you guessed. The mid-November slit of sun tries hard to shine through. But darkness sits beside us earlier, heavier. Sometimes we turn our heads and stare at its dimming. Often when we are alone. Like a party trick, our eyes adjust. The cold accompanies the dark, they are Autumn’s sisters; she takes your hands, clasps them like an old friend. You shudder and search for gloves. Without a fire lit, the house is alien, dusky.

Outdoors, Fall walks with me. Turkeys crash through my woods. Fourteen of them. I count. They’re on a pilgrimage, a straight line. Walking, one after another. Absolutely unhurried. Unaware of daylight savings time ended. Not a thought in their 14 bobbing heads of Thanksgiving coming. Just walking, eating, moving on. Crashing through these woods. And I mean crashing — dryed brown leaves their carpet, a monstrous noise. I reckon a bear — always reckon a bear — at first. I sit perfectly still. My pen, a weapon? Could be. In case of emergency. Never want it to come to that. Almost never does. But still. I’ve heard stories. That kind of crashing in these woods on a fine fall morning on a warm and restless day is something. The business of bears is packing on fat for the winter, readying for a long nap coming. I might look tasty, pink stocking cap the cherry on top. You never know.

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