A Velvet Shoe

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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.

    [illustration] Illustrated by Mary Walton