I asked the crimson Sassafras
For a mittened helping hand.
“I must bring autumn home,” I said
To the yellow Maidenhair.
But the Sassafras just smiled and sighed
That he had other plans.
And that Ginkgo giggled down the lane
And left my basket bare.
I hiked the blazing mountains
‘Neath the Maples’ ring of fire,
I bartered with the Aspens,
For to procure their neon glow.
But the Maples would not spare a brand
Though expansive was their pyre.
The Aspens said, “No deal,”
And shushed me down the valley below.
With empty hands and heavy heart,
I trod the pasture lane.
No autumn in my arms to charm
My own Autumnal Queen,
Denied by forest branch and bough—
Each tree’s answer was the same.
The splendor of their canopy
Inaccessible to me.
But as I turned at last toward home
And squinted toward the west,
My eye alighted on two flowers
Canoodling with a bee.
At last I’d found the hues of Fall
That fit my hand the best.
Now the Aster and the Goldenrod
Are coming home with me.