It is the rude awakening from a midsummer night’s dream,
the autumn just beyond the field where the ivy vines windeth.
It is the shuttering of beachside storefronts and boardwalk shops,
the cessation of baby’s breath—the final sigh of the Bristol Fairy.
It is a time of scholarship and collegiate fellowship,
of numbered backs racing around the track as the trees
shed their crisp, motley graces, of the stale smell of sweaters
stowed away in the attic with forgotten toys and old paperbacks.
It is the season of the burned odor of furnace dust,
of dusk’s early darkening and dawn’s early rising,
of pumpkin coffee, cranberry scones, and all things cinnamon,
of zombies, churchyard fall festivals, and traffic-light-hued apples.
It is the month of holiday preparatory,
of midterm study groups and library lounging,
of heightened expectation, for time is winding down.