This is a day meant to live
In the minds of fall birds,
Their numb mastery of sky and trees,
Leaves swimming atmosphere
Beneath the spread of sparrow wings
In a kaleidoscope of orange.
The sky is everything and violet,
Sun refusing to gather shadows
In the manipulative way she hides
The tight slather of her heat
Between the stiff branches
Of nearby elk trees.
Summer has been sassy
In her long relent,
Catching the short of cooler days
In the web of her still-ninety degrees
So that today feels more like June
Than the swift-end to September.
Young couples are galloping hand-in-hand
Vivaciously through a maze of park-trees,
pausing momentarily to surrender
A vacuous nod to old men in straw hats
Then stopping short in their breath and steps
Before a tumbling toddler
Sumptuously scattering ice cream across
The fat red of her baby cheeks:
The single vision of a teenage past,
A tiny fast-forward into
What could become their careless days.
The sum of their Friday-date park space
Where last night they scattered themselves
Across the backseat while strumming
The invisible chords of each other
Like amateur violinists.