A Dish of Promises

Living in a land of drought next to a city named for a thousand oaks,
I found myself in two forests one week before summer’s end.

Longing for the damp, crisp comfort of fall
the heat of the first forest said, not yet.

I searched the forest floor for acorns
that had not lost their caps upon landing.
I gathered like a hungry squirrel.

These would decorate my home when
the calendar showed autumn’s first day,
unconcerned with the thermometer.

Only three days had passed when I walked into the second.
A forest 2,800 miles east of the first.
A steep hike below the western forest led to a half full lake.
This forest held tight to the shore of the lake it surrounded.

And here, more acorns whose brave little hats clung to them.
I reached down to add to my delight.
These Connecticut Yankees would join their California cousins,
who already sat in a dish shaped like a leaf.

A dish of promises.

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