A boy and his uncle

kneel on the shore

of a sunset pond


The colors of the trees

in the Missouri autumn

reflect on the calm surface

before them


The boy’s small sailboat

tethered to a fish line

leans to one side

His uncle shows him how

to right it


Old man, young boy

look up from their work

to fix the image of sharply

uniformed captains

leading ducklings

in ever changing formations

as their flotilla slides by


That’s what the boy will remember

about autumn