brown oak leaves

finger the slender grass, deep with memory


poplar leaves in varying shades of ochre

pile calf-

and ankle-


over the terraced deck


the pointed red stars of Japanese maples

plaster the sidewalks like confetti

after a parade


old trees—sycamore, maple, cherry and apple—


arching over

creeks and country roads,

marching up and down the hills,

strip in the breeze, holding onto

both gold and pennies,

sifting their treasure

in measured sums


my hometown in autumn

counts the years one leaf at a time—

meted memories,

dropped tokens of every forgotten summer


each leaf is one I’ve seen before, and one I haven’t

each one still holds the question

of spring


as winter begins to scrape

the branches, clutching

at the season’s last


and the furrowed sky

braids cold rain

into the





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