Fallen Leaves

The leaves fell, floated

like copper boats on the still lake

before dropping towards

the murky bottom to gather

algae, reminiscent

of some long forgotten wreckage

that not even the fish

seem to take note of anymore.

Above the surface, trees

drag their curving branches across

the bug-rippled water,

while a blue heron submerges

its fringed head deep

beneath mud and dead

weeds to snatch a sunfish

from its tangled stronghold.

Above, buzzards circle,

long, lazy arcs that spiral down

towards the woods just

beyond the banks of the pond.

They press their dark wings

into the wind, and loop upward

to catch the undercurrent

before settling back into

a full-winged glide,

content to let the ebb and flow

of the wind carry them past

the oaks and maples that shiver

in the late-night hour,

drop burnt leaves onto the water

that drift like gilded boats

on a still, moon-bathed lake.