A Velvet Shoe

By June Masters Bacher

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    Autumn wears a velvet shoe,

    And makes no footstep sound.

    Colored leaves a signal sense

    And ballet to the ground.

    Milkweed pods burst their coats

    To let their ripe seeds fly,

    On silken wings to other lands

    Against a darkening sky.

    The alder leaves along the branch

    Clasp their hands in prayer

    In sanctuary silence—

    Autumn is in the air.

    The wild geese warn of winter

    In frost-remembered cry,

    A honking wedge of feathers,

    As to the south they fly.

    Sleep sweetly, Earth, but lightly,

    You have earned a rest.

    Soon you’ll hear the curtain call

    To model April’s dress.

    Illustrated by Mary Walton