Each fall, the leaves turn the color of money, copper,
bronze, gold, and then the trees go for broke, spend
it all, blow everything they’ve got upon the lawn.
They don’t play it safe, invest in mutual funds, CD’s.
Their pockets empty, they shrug, bare-limbed,
knowing the odds, the equinox will spin around
once more, and that, like magicians, they’ll pull
green silk from every twig. But right now,
on the brink of winter’s Great Depression,
they shrug on gray overcoats, tan fedoras, settle in
for the long night. The cards are in their favor
if they can just be patient, wait out the dry spell,
the deep freeze. Eventually, the wind will come back
from the south; if you listen, you can hear the rustle
of money in the invisible leaves.

—Barbara Crooker, Fogelsville, PA