Autumn, the Fool
by Theodora Goss
The leaves float on the water like patches of motley.
Autumn, the fool, has dropped them into the lake,
where they rival the costume, not of the staid brown duck,
but the splendid drake.
He capers down the lanes in his ragged garments,
a comical figure shedding last year’s leaves,
but as he passes the crickets begin their wailing
and the chipmunk grieves.
The willow bends down to watch herself in the water
and shivers at the sight of her yellow hair.
Autumn the fool has passed her, and soon her branches
will be bare.
(The painting is Autumn Landscape with Four Trees by Vincent van Gogh. This poem was published in my collection Songs for Ophelia.