Autumn leaves

Ed's end of the planet books

The first leaves of autumn

Gather under the empty, grey, park benches

That are arranged so neatly

Beneath the one hundred year old oak trees

In the county courthouse yard.

I ask the waitress at the cafe on the corner

Where they’ve all gone –

The old men who used to sit out

On the now forsaken grey benches

Every day that it didn’t rain

They were there until the first snow

The ones who still wore overalls and work boots

Even in retirement – in less than perfect conditions

The ones who carried pocket watches on Brockway fobs

And smoked pipes packed with Prince Albert

Or Muriel cigars or Lucky Strike cigarettes

As they discussed…

the drought and the flood

the County Attorney and the last election

the heat and the cold

the John Birch Society and the N.F.O.

the Warren Court and Richard Nixon

the checkout girl at…

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