I watch while the last of the summer leaves
the last of the summer leaves,
cornered by color, bullied by wind,
pushed from their tenuous
one-finger perches. Dangling
from hope, they yet cling to what was.
To what can never be again.
Buttressed now by stealth and stain,
the trees hold their breath and, in bloated hues,
leave behind what could never have been kept.
The molten days of August, now
Eastward creeping, cannot match
the closer dawn of winter’s darker agenda.
Change waits for no one.
Our frightened but fawning fraternity,
grips the once-dangling inside jokes.
But our song-sick companionship, bends
to sight and chance and change.
Beyond the clutch and ken of
drowning dreams, old stories, made young
again in the telling, sleep in
the quiet choirs of shared experience.
Love, always trumpeting her own exploits,
is writ larger against the dim and shrinking page.
Huddling for warmth against the inevitability
of inevitability crouches the promise of the new,
ripped and wrapped in golden heaps of trust.
Grasp too tightly to the branch and nothing
comes to shape what shadow left behind.
Trading form for frame, green for gold,
gone for glow, tired specters of older
days return to their places to sleep,
and dream of dreams.
The pledge of change.
What is left after un-leaving
stays bleak but for a moment.
Soon, the barren skin of dawn
must shed to bear and bare what only
death could bring.