The leaves won’t stay this shade of poison green
for long. Even the weather-beaten Buddhas
seem to be shedding weight, fretting on
the pillars at the gate. Apple trees are littering the
cloistered lawn with clots of blotchy fruit.
Flies bombard the produce at the stand.
Lurching in a wild, gesticulated dance, we
whack at meaty thoraxes. Loath to let them eat
the meager yield, meanly hoarded from the
browning field. Soon each pumpkin’s evil smile
will split before our jaundiced eyes. Go and
fill old robes with rotting straw. Watch the crows spit
thwarted caws above the scritching corn. Yell out
curses to the rime before it creeps. Tell it to delay the
day when it fits each leering gulch with jagged teeth.
A Golden Shovel, after “Watermelons,” by Charles Simic