Clear and dead still. A flicker lands on the elm snag and pokes into the old den hole. Her wings, when she flies, glow yellow in the sun.
A rattle of falling acorns where jays forage. Two pileated woodpeckers in succession land on the dead elm, red crests blazing in the sun.
A pileated woodpecker lands on the dead elm with a rattle of wings, the elm swaying. Below in the lilac a titmouse hammers away at an acorn.
The yellow is moving up from the goldenrod to the birches, tulip trees and elms. A red-bellied woodpecker’s shrill calls end in a trill.
A squirrel enters the cavity in the dead elm and rests its chin on the lip of the hole, watching silently as juncos swirl through the yard.
I wake from a dream of a pub that served nothing but wheat beer to endless rain on yellow leaves: birch and elm, walnut and tulip tree.
Where the sun shines through elms and birches, almost half the leaves are already yellow. In the meadow, the goldenrod is at its height.