Bio Note: Until two years ago we lived thirty-two years in the southwest desert. We gardened year round and loved the long autumns. While spring was a photo flash of green, fall could never make up its mind.
I pity our neighbor at the end of the street. His yard is cupped hands to our donations of leaves. Generous winds blow throughout our desert autumn, from Labor Day to Christmas, till trees almost bud again. There is no color flash of fall, leaves turn paper bag brown or pale yellow, with a fence-sitter’s mind as to when and if they will surrender. The wind harvests a few and they reproduce like coveys of quail. Then the surf of leaves chatters like a grasshopper herd rushing flash flood stage down the street. The retired neighbor’s yard is buried. Even during the scorching summer months he meticulously blows his gravel clean once a week. Our cool and enduring autumn becomes hurricane season, waves of tree debris cast upon his pristine beach. We offer our garbage cans as relief and sometimes he accepts. Sadly, he has finally tired of the plague. A for sale sign appeared this week. He and his wife want an apartment with no yard. For their sakes I hope the wind isn’t blowing when realtors show the place.
Originally published in Common Ground, 2017
©2021 Mark Weinrich
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