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No frost yet—
it’s still early—
so, barely a change in color
on the trees,
though Chinaberry trees’ highest leaves
shimmer yellow in the sun.
With uncommon, intermittent summer rains,
predictions are
for a more-colorful-than-normal display
of fall foliage.
Indeed, trees
are greener than usual
for this time of year,
though we don’t have many deciduous trees—
mostly along the creeks.
No,
the beauty of the prairie
is a lesson
in subtlety—
the gentle swell of the land,
the muted colors
of the soft grass
against the autumn blue
of a vast, cloudless sky.

In autumn light,
even the golden hour
glows with more color—
tinges of orange—
revealing colors
deeply hidden in the landscape.
Thick patches of dried plants
in the muddy flats
of a not-full-yet farm pond
show rusty magenta.
Evening light
bathing great swathes
of the tiny, bright yellow Broom Weed flower
paint the pastures
mustard.
Maybe cold air
will turn tree leaves
brilliant orange and red.
That will be beautiful too,
and decidedly more dramatic.
But may we not miss
these subtle, golden days
of sky and swell and soft.

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