I run the red and green push
mower over the back yard one
more time; less to cut what little
grass remains than to chop the weed
tree leaves browning up on the
Creeping Charlie and crabgrass.
Tonight, we will cover the tomatoes
and peppers in a quixotic hope of
squeezing a few more gifts from
October. Small green tomatoes hang
from withering vines. The raspberry
canes bend down, laden with almost-fruit.
In the front yard, our silver maple
and gingko hold onto their green
like visas against death, while
the fiery maples across the street
jettison their crimson fingers into
this fierce wind. It will be useless
to rake for days. Our leaves will
fly to the neighbor’s, the neighbor’s
to ours. Already the hostas and
sunflowers are shedding their bones,
and the flowers the bees delighted
in all summer have shrunken to seed.
All this is ordered by an ancient
call: earth and her creatures
loosing what they love to die back
into winter. Every fall, they take
the cup and drink it. Every autumn
their goodbyes ravish our eyes
with color. Maybe a tree weeps
each leaf she has held as it drops
down to rot away. I cannot know.
But there is welcome for each in
the deep dark where roots labor
among the blind beasts. It may be
that each fallen leaf, each withered
stalk dancing and dying is a tender
of incense, a prayer flag, a knee
bent to offer blessing to the world.
(First published in Bacopa Literary Journal)
A video of me reading the poem:
Great content! Keep up the good work!
Wonderful stuff Arte !
Many thanks. Will be reading more for sure. Just got tuned in to your work through Elegy on Writer’s Almanac today