The sun was low in the sky, and it made the trees look like they were on fire. The entire length of the road was dressed up in its finest party colors. Each tree competed with the next, trying to win “first place” in the beauty contest. I was the only “judge” on the road, and I couldn’t possibly give the prize to just one tree. Each one struck my fancy in a different way and showed a unique beauty.
|Today's fleeting finery.|
By the time I drive through here again, most of the colors will be gone. I’ll yell out to the trees and ask them where their party dresses are, and my request will be met with a cold stare from the bones of the woods. And everywhere, there will be bones. They will jut out like pointy elbows and knees popping through threadbare fabric. “Alms for the poor! Alms for the poor!” will be heard through the forest.
The band will have long since packed up and left. The dancers will have gone home. The shiny dance floor will be littered with yesterday’s dirty finery. I will begin to question whether it happened at all, whether it was all in my imagination. Long ago, before we had photos to prove that we were at the dance, the only evidence remained in our minds, and that was subject to the ice and snow. It was all hearsay. It might never have happened. It probably didn’t.