light ricochets through the poplars;
dewdrops sparkle like diamonds
on blades of grass.
Cotton clouds brush Brasstown Bald,
a rain crow resounds in the woods,
corn shocks pulse on a breeze,
and sunflowers carry the torch.
Squirrels fly like gymnasts,
gather walnuts on the ground.
Joe Pye weeds open fuchsia fans,
goldenrods hug the road banks.
Trout dive in Hiwassee River,
beavers splash like Michael Phelps,
a waterfall rushing 100 meters,
five white-tailed deer finally sprint
over a split-rained fence.
Nature holds summer Olympics
in the Blue Ridge Mountains,
earth wears the gold.
--Brenda Kay Ledford
Fall's slipping into the mountains,
moment by moment,
the earth's wearing the gold.