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April 2014, vol 10, no 1

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Robert Root

Autumn Again

Autumn again, two scrawny trees near the street already leafless, others full-leafed in red and orange and yellow. The leaves that cover the bike path through the woods crackle beneath my tires; I still whir through patches of deep shade but see deeper into the open underbrush. On the approach to the underpass all the milkweeds have burst, the shrubs have darkened, the grasses turned brown. The river flows low and sluggish under the bridge and the tire tracks leading to the canoe access are dry and bare. Already autumn again, and the path I ride, the path I have so often walked, the leafed and leafless trees, the underpass, the hill toward the street and the curve away from the canoe access into scattered oaks and hickories, are as familiar to me now as if I have always known them. Seasons have passed and changed and passed and changed and I coast through them now without curiosity, without expectation, calmed by constancy, certain of what awaits around each bend.

Familiar bike path
nothing new except—
albino squirrel