If You Drop Leaves

 

If You Drop Leaves

If you drop leaves when she walks by,
does that signify grief for those
cut down early,

or merely drought?
How easily we abandon and forget.

Yet a whiff of lemon verbena or the light
bouncing from a passing Ford
can call them back,

tiny sorrows ratcheted in sequence
above the cracked well casing

but below the shingles
and near the dwindling shade
tracing its outline on the lawn.

And what do you whisper
alone at night within sight
of sawn and stacked siblings?

Do you suffer anger by way
of deadfall or absorption,

bark grown around and concealing
a penetrating nail, never shedding
tears, never sharing one moment

with another. Offered condolences,
what might you say? Pain earns no
entrance. Remit yourselves.

 

* * *

“If You Drop Leaves” was published at Bad Pony in November 2017. Many thanks to editor Emily Corwin for taking this piece.

2 thoughts on “If You Drop Leaves

  1. Good to read this again. I pause periodically by the enormous 3-ft-high stumps of the 5-trunked live oak we took out last year after multi-year decline due to live oak wilt (no amount of rain could resolve) – the neighborhood is safe now, nothing will crash down now. The stumps have become difficult to see for all the leafy twiglets emerged – I sense they are hands clapping, happy to stay around with no more struggle to get moisture up through those extensive limbs!

    Liked by 1 person

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