How crisp the crunch of fallen leaves,
As along the sidewalk she strolled.
Cool enough now to wear long sleeves,
Although she had the worn cuffs rolled.
She spots a showy scarlet one,
Bends down, and picks it up to see.
She twirls it in the autumn sun -
Her brows frown at a memory.
A shopping cart holds her wardrobe,
Along with other odds and ends,
Like a two-week-old Daily Globe,
On which, as blanket, she depends.
Spectacular is autumn’s show,
With glorious colors about,
And, to the shelter, she’ll soon go,
When it’s too cold to remain out.
She’d become stoic in old age,
Accepting the fate she can’t buck.
She’s too frail now to earn a wage,
But she can’t blame it on bad luck.
There was a time she had it all:
Youth, looks and attendant men.
Life was a perpetual ball,
And she’d lived for the moment then.
She never put a dime aside,
And then her mind began to go.
For her, the end of a wild ride,
As her flesh sagged and lost its glow.
She’d like to move to Florida,
But has no money for the fare -
Her small check only goes so far.
Besides, leaves don’t change color there.