A thin, smoky haze
Seeps through town,
Late November warmed
By burning leaves.

See to your firewood.
Pick your apples.
Seal your windows.

Early darkness mixes
With cool, sweet air
Hanging among street lamps.

The first foot soldiers of winter
Enter the outskirts
Of the village.

The old year flees out
The other side of town.
I am the stunned witness of
Autumn’s annual fire.


Brooks is a writer of historical fiction, a poet, and a photographer. His family originally came from the Blue Ridge region of North Carolina. He resides on a small farm in Illinois with his wife. His poetry and short stories have appeared in numerous magazines. He has written nine books.