Late Fall. The staghorn sumac’s crown
is now ablaze. Though geese have flown,
the tree’s red conic drupes will feed
the phoebes, thrush and grouse in need
of food through months of ice and snow.
But brew the bitter tufts just so,
and they can etch a pearl. I know.
For I have gathered up its seed,
fair-weather love, and drunk it down.
© Catherine Chandler, first published in The Lyric, Fall 2011