The smell of burning leaves and ripened apples
as Fall closes in
the blast of pin on cap,
while goodhearted tramps sleep atop empty knapsacks.
Lay your pen upon the stone,
for now, all colors will remain unwritten
and every child,
lucky enough to have the nutrition
of a bowl of alphabet soup,
will still spell the word “despair” with the letter noodles
as the liquid grows cold.
And they will carry the enduring inelegance
of stiff upper lips
into the future.
Dreams in decay,
while the new Rome burns.