LATE OCTOBER WALK

 

Late October. Almost
unseen amidst the leaves
that surrendered seemingly
so long ago, a lurid

outbreak of color streaks across
a fallen log, a rash
of hues splatters a trunk
fungi have already flagged

as soon to fall while mushrooms,
as if just erupted, thrive in
the failing light on decay’s
bounty. The oaks have long since

resigned themselves to winter’s
onslaught. Though soon enough
slug fodder, deer morsel, boar feast,
the blewits just now seem bent

on casting off the last
cumbersome bits of dried leaves
that still half-camouflage
an all too eager skyward thrust.

 

Nick Conrad has published widely, most recently in Badlands, Blast Furnace, Blueline, Clackamas Literary Review, Clarion, Coe Review, The Comstock Review, The Cortland Review, Fourth River, Hawai’i Pacific Review, Kentucky Review, Mayday Magazine, Orbis (UK), Plainsongs, Slipstream, Southern Poetry Review, Southword (Ireland), Split Rock Review, Stoneboat, Third Wednesday, Valparaiso Poetry Review, Wayne Literary Review, West Texas Literary Review, and many others. His first book, Lake Erie Blues, was published in 2020 from Urban Farmhouse Press as part of their Crossroads Poetry Series.

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