is there an ulterior motive
to the bare branches of autumn;
their hands dropping hints
while they toss summer coats to the ground?

are yellow leaves meant to hit like a slap in the face,
to make a mark on my pale winter skin for staring so rudely.
or are the trees ashamed in the nude,
their aim to place maple hands strategically over eyelids,
meant to cover my view?

i'm inclined to believe we're all in is together;
that the branches lend their leaves as encouragement,
handing out 'there, there' pats on the back in lieu of spoken sentiments
when their song birds have flown south for the season.