In autumn our river trees turn to
asceticism, fast down to the last twig,

shedding leaves as though they were
passions, weaving carpets of decay.

They do this without hesitation in
order that the river, which serves them

all year, might have its season to shine.
And shine it does, for five proud months,

Slate-tinted through the day, attended by
a humble sun, black at night with bracelets

flashing on its arms, snow like ermine
draping its shoulders til spring returns

and the trees’ humility is rewarded; the
Buddha born a prince once more.

Timothy Robbins

About the poet: Tim Robbins has been a regular contributor to Hanging Loose since 1978. His poems have also appeared in Three New Poets, The James White Review, Slant, Main Street Rag, Two Thirds North, The Pinyon Review, Wisonsin Review, and others.