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.