First Frost

    “First Frost,” Ensign, July 1990, 69

    First Frost

    Third Place

    The nip

    That crimps the vine

    And curls the leaves of quaking aspen

    Taints the shimmering

    Emerald fields.

    Gone are languid days

    Of sun-sponged idleness

    And water frivolity.

    Yet now

    The nip of first frost

    Tweaks the cheeks of apples

    And opens pinion cones

    To sprinkle pine nuts

    On the ground.

    The honk

    Of geese on marshy ponds,

    The acrid smell of wood smoke

    Seals summer in time.

    And beckons

    A new season.

    View of the Tiber Near Peruga, by George Inness; courtesy of National Gallery of Art, Washington: Ailsa Mellon Bruce Fund