The leaves of the three trees out front
not yet transformed by nip and chill –
frozen in last night’s early snow.
Falling – every one,
in multitudes all at once.
Not like years past . . .
a glow surrounding the house –
tall tree gods, haloed by Midas touch,
watching over us,
the last to surrender
their mounds of bounty for ritual sake –
to rake and jump into, breathing
the first sweet scent of decay –
as if death were nothing to fear.
Now, only brown, shriveled leaves
a hired hand will dispose of without ceremony –
sucked up and dumped.
No matter I have relished other autumns,
no matter the child reminds me
fall will come again. Not as if
a loved one has been washed out to sea,
my home and thousands more
wrecked by pelting rain and furious wind.
That is tragedy –
so overwhelming I cannot comprehend.
And yet for my lost autumn, I ache.