Maple is flirting with me.
I glimpse her at windows as she ducks out of sight, catching only a swirl of scarlet skirts. She leaves little crimson-wrapped gifts outside my door.
I love her. I wish I knew that she loved me… but Miss Sugar Maple never says a word.
Maria speaks for the trees and, of course, those who love them.
It was the color of fall, when the gilded sun rises warmly in the southeast corner of the sky. It was the time of beautiful death, when all the trees catch fire, awaiting the spiteful winter chill to put them out.
I didn’t always hate the fall. Not before her.
Andrew is an unpublished fiction writer in the Washington area. In his spare time he enjoys pens, pads, word processors and pudding.
She seduces me each September—
warm summer kisses
tasting of frost and smoke;
her voluptuous dance,
flamboyant raiment discarded
piece by piece,
revealing more and more of bewitching nakedness.
But it always ends the same—icy tears each December.
Still, I know I
Tony Jasnowski teaches English at Bellevue University. Can there be any doubt which season is his favorite?
Surprised by chill after weeks of scorchers, she holds her bag of groceries to her chest, purchases for a solitary meal.
Two girls skip by, flaunting autumn exuberance, ignoring homework, ignoring regimen and rigor. She alone grieves sweaty embraces, August smells, dreams expired as moderate temperatures and cooler heads return.
Nancy Ludmerer lives in New York City with her husband Malcolm and cat Sandy, named after the storm he fled (right into Nancy’s arms) and Sandy Koufax. Her story “First Night” appears in Best Small Fictions 2016.
Fields of vivid yellow; enthusiastic sunflowers tell me stories of love, life, and laughter as I lay amongst them.
Imposing, tall, stretching, kissing the sun.
I rearrange them in their vases. Together we look out the kitchen window, sighing.
They’re wilting now, but I count the days ’til next year.
Michael is currently writing bios for up-and-coming artists in the U.K.
At first, she felt free. She’d bask in the summer evening radiance, watching the kaleidoscope of stars filling the night sky with their regular patterns. Like lights from faraway friends, watching over her.
But in winter, the pavement was cold. Clouds blocked out the stars. Friends seemed very far away.
Jo Withers hopes that everyone has friends nearby. You can follow Jo on Twitter.
Cheryl sits on her porch, waiting. She knows that when she sees the first lightning bug, glowing as it rises from the grass, summer will have truly arrived.
Her paranoid neighbor says they won’t come anymore—climate change.
Cheryl isn’t a believer. She shivers in the cold August night, waiting.
Candace Kubinec posts her stories at storydribbles.wordpress.com and her poetry at rhymeswithbug.com.
He flits between branches, his jaunty, upturned tail bobbing. I’ve seen him before, but never this close, and never singing fit to burst his tiny heart.
His head twitches left and right. Perhaps he’s just scared, but I need to believe it’s because he’s caught a sideways glimpse of spring.
Tamsin can’t sing or flit, but she’s definitely on the lookout for the end of winter.
A loon’s call echoes across the amber lake. Her mate’s wail reassures her.
Above, a rested comrade takes point. The spent goose banks away, catching the slipstream.
Hardwoods preen, sashay their brightest orange, gamboge, and crimson. The old ones yawn, smiling at the adolescents, who dream tonight’s dance never ends.
Matthew lives in Maine.
One spring morning
A strong wind arose
Waking the old trees
Their young leaves shimmied
Like tiny gymnasts stretching
Practicing handstands and cartwheels
While nearby other giants
Stood somber as if caught
By some old trauma
Some unspeakable shame
That had broken
Their mighty spirit
So many long years ago
Matthew lives and grows in Maine.