Ann Keiffer


These November mornings,
the streets I walk
along are lined
with curb-caught rows
of rusty pine needles
and crisp-copper
leaves as large as
Chinese fans.

Beneath the oaks,
fat acorns blanket
the ground
in such profusion
it seems they
might have burst
from the trees
all at once,
like pop-pop-popcorn,
an all-you-can-eat buffet
for the deer,
wild turkeys,
and squirrels.

Liquid amber trees,
pin oaks, Japanese maples,
Chinese pistache
burn with light,
their leaves
exclamation points
of color—
against an otherwise
quiescent landscape
of late-year hues.

Canadian geese V-off
against the cloudless blue
yonder, obeying their
migratory instincts—
for about two minutes—
until the arrow of their
flight turns back
to the pond where
these Canadians
now live the California
easy-life year-round.

In shadow-tucked places,
strands of moss weave
themselves into tiny
green carpets of velvet
on damp stones and walks,
on trees and walls.

In the nippy night air,
owls ruffle the
rough feathers
of their voices
in intimate
within eavesdropping-
distance outside our
bedroom window.

And each morning
when I go walking,
this very autumn air,
with its rumors of rain,
is waiting just outside
the door to greet me,
brushing my face
with moist-cool kisses.

I love the turning
of each season—
whatever season
to whatever season—
and each season
as it comes,
I love the best of all.
In the autumn of my
life, I wonder:
What might I find
in the winter
of my life that
I might love
the best of all.

Ann Keiffer
November, 2011


About Ann

I am interested in the strange beauty of brokenness, in transforming possibility in difficult times, in how we heal even when we can’t get better, in the alchemy of surrender, in the interplay of light and shadow, in the bounty of everyday wonders, in the gift of laughter…and writing about it, all and everything.

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