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October is a time
Of yellow willow,
After green of aspen turns away.
We must wait through
Cooler days
When alders harden into red
Or brown, falling
Towards eons as willows yellow
Wyoming foothills.

I think your fingers
Have the shape
Of willow, like your eyes.
Perhaps it's just
The slowness
Of the way you turn
In quiet fire still . . .
Or something yellow as the leaf
That holds to green skin darkening
Into brown and gray.

Above Brush Creek,
Watching willow burn,
I return to days in yellow-matted
Rooms, the rainy season mist,
Snowy blossoms
Never touched by yellow.
I could tell you all
Of this and more. I won't.
My eyes are filled with fall --
And willows slow to yellow.

Copyright 1976 by Robert A. Roripaugh