As a kid growing up in New York,
I considered our fall second rate:
how I longed for the grand, mythological land
we exotically labeled Upstate.
In that Eden, I’d heard, leaves turned bright,
endless acres of yellows and reds,
while my single tree browned, dropping one tiny mound
that I kicked to the curb with my Keds.
Now I live several hours to the north,
and the maples and oaks truly blaze—
hues so loud they look fake—till the time comes to rake
without stopping, for numberless days.
And I daydream of trips farther south,
of the places I’ll shop, stroll and dine
in that part of the map where the leaves may be crap
but you don’t need a rod in your spine.