Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Tahoe Autumn

Tahoe Autumn

I've always loved the lake
in late September,
when the tan and sandy
summer crowds have gone.

The mountain peaks are streaked
by hazy autumn sun
and trees sweep branches gracefully aside
for drifting yellow leaves.

The air is chill and filled with cries
of goose and gull,
who spiral down to feast on crab
along a rocky beach,
or snatch a crumb of day-old bread
from one last visitor.

The lake itself is weary, spent and empty;
its blue has faded to a dull
and pewter gray.
Lapping granite boulders now,
it dreams its peaceful dreams
instead of summer's
engine-wretched nightmares.

Fingerprinted windows,
papered thick with "SALE" signs
show a jumble of crumpled, tired wares,
while in back rooms,
their fresh-inked price tags skewered
with glittersilver pins,
rows of day-glo ski suits
wait their turn.

Stores who serve only summer hordes,
(dive shops, boat docks, ice cream, sno-kone,
wind sock, wind chime, parasail places)
turn blank and knotty plywood faces
toward threatened sleet and snow.

Its porch, scorched by summer sun,
shelters faded canvas chairs and
rusted barbecues,
traced by spiders' webs and gritty
windblown sand.
Now, huddled next to grassy dunes,
with scotch broom brushing dusty eaves,
our lakeside cabin waits for us
in welcome.

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