Crows are autumn. The sign of autumn. Their "cra-cra-cra" and then another "cra" like a period at the end of a sentence hanging in the air. And the colors. The burned sienna. The fire of maples. The cold sun. You'd think it would warm your face, but it's only there for show.
The damp chill after the rain. Puddles glistening like mirrors.
"Cra-cra-cra," go the crows.
"Shhh, I hear you," goes the wind.
It rips off the leaves. It twirls them, and they dance and land in the puddles and float like discarded summer.
There is the tickle of crispness on your skin. It nips a bit, only a bit. Like a warning. It's not that cold yet. No roofs are covered with hoarfrost, no sheets of ice break under your feet. None of it is there. Only fall. Only October.
And that kiss you've been waiting for, it's warm on your lips.
You hold hands and walk about aimlessly, kicking at the leaves, smelling decay. The scarf is hugging your neck and you pull it up and lower your face in it and breathe in. It's pleasant.
You stop by a pond and sit on a bench and feed ducks pieces of bread. They are perfectly insolent, the ducks, and spoiled. They snatch the bread right out of your hand and waddle off, very important looking.
"I love you." He says.
"I love you too." You say, smiling, there and not there. "This is lovely."
"Do you have more bread?"
He offers a handful of crumbs. All that's left. "Would that do?"
You throw it.
Now the pigeons are here too, and the sparrows. And the crows go, "cra-cra-cra," like they're saying, "it's mine, it's mine." The crows.
They are autumn.