Like Coins, November
by Elisabeth Klise Von Zerneck
We drove past late fall fields as flat and cold
as sheets of tin and, in the distance, trees
tossed like coins against the sky. Stunned gold
bronze, oaks, maples stood in twos and threes:
copper bright, a few dull brown and, now
then, the shock of one so steeled with frost
glittered like a dime. The autumn boughs
blackened branches wore a somber gloss
whispered tails to me, not heads. I read
columns in their trunks; their leaves
UNUM, cent; and yours, the only head . . .
penny profile, Lincoln-like (one sleeve,
eye) but even it was turning tails
russet leaves lay spent across the trails.