Autumn Striptease

Carole Spandau, “Autumn Landscape, Quebec, Red Maples and Blue Spruces”

In Maryland at the moment, autumn colors are at their height. Further north, the trees are further along in their annual striptease. Here’s a poem by my father celebrating the annual ritual. Enjoy.

Maple Dance

By Scott Bates

We watch the show
From our kitchen window–

Our maple tree’s
Annual striptease.

She shimmies
In the autumn breeze.

Everything glows
In the golden sun,

Everything goes
Till the dance is done–

Every leaf
Of her lamé sheath,

Every veil
In the woodwind’s wail,

Until she’s bare
In the whistling air

Her arms held high
To the rocking sky

As slender
In her Giacometti splendor

As a lightning rod
For the thunder god

Who comes
With his drums,

His flashing cymbal,
His rimshot hail,

His wirebrush snow,
His white Peujot,

To take her
To his theatre

In her ermine fur.


A note on the artist: Carole Spandau’s painting can be found at

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  • Literature is as vital to our lives as food and shelter. Stories and poems help us work through the challenges we face, from everyday irritations to loneliness, heartache, and death. Literature is meant to mix it up with life. This website explores how it does so.

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