The Rain Woke Me

at 4 a.m. When I went for my walk three hours later I realized that fall had finally arrived.

The sky was overcast, the air chill enough to bring a hint of color to my cheeks and to warrant a light sweater.

A new garage going up brought the smell of freshly cut lumber. Across the street, four faded and frayed Tibetan flags waved in the wind.

A cat, gray as smoke, picked her way into the alley. I called to her and she turned her head to regard me for a moment before continuing on her way.