Tag Archives: autumn

If the Leaves Don’t Fall.

fallleavesbark1

The leaves are falling,
but

If the leaves don’t fall
You’ll sleep in that morning

If the leaves don’t fall
Joey will kiss you goodbye one more time,
changing the timeline

If the leaves don’t fall
You won’t even go into work that day

If the leaves don’t fall
The pastor will decide to delay his trip to the bank to make the deposit

If the leaves don’t fall
You won’t hear the knock on the office door

If the leaves don’t fall
You won’t be your usual kind self
and open that locked door for them

If the leaves don’t fall
You make to the storage closet,
the one with the deadbolt

If the leaves don’t fall
The pastor comes back in time

If the leaves don’t fall
They don’t decide to rape you while you bleed out

If the leaves don’t fall
I don’t get that call that sends me flying up
and out of my own body to try and find you

If the leaves don’t fall
Your daughter doesn’t search my face to try and find you in me,
wondering where her momma is

If the leaves don’t fall
My other niece doesn’t have to spend months at the therapist talking
about the “two bad men with a knife who killed Aunt Brenda”

If the leaves don’t fall
Your now grown daughter’s face,
just like yours,
doesn’t cause me pain

If the leaves don’t fall
We get to grow old together as we planned.
Two old ladies in houses next to each other
With too many cats
Sitting on the back porch each night cackling
just like Big Momma used to
To our own juicy, irreverent, wild-woman jokes

If the leaves don’t fall
You could even be here tonight,
sitting at my kitchen table,
smiling at me,
making me laugh

If the leaves don’t fall
I won’t have to leave work early yesterday

If the leaves don’t fall
I won’t ride to church,
snot and tears flying,
praying that my friend,
herself a church admin,
is still there to break my fall

If the leaves don’t fall
You tell me why you are so angry at me

If the leaves don’t fall
We never have that last,
disagreeable,
conversation

If the leaves don’t fall
I am no longer the most selfish person you’ve ever known

If the leaves don’t fall
You forgive me for whatever it is that causes our argument

If the leaves don’t fall
I don’t dread Autumn each year

If the leaves don’t fall
I still have you,

my sister

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tree bones

I love
the flesh of trees
in the Spring

so fresh and full
like tender baby cheek
plump and downy
green and succulent

and I love the
tough stringiness
of late summer leaves
where scars
of all those summer
cuts
blows
still show

I must applaud
the strength
of the tender leaf
hanging on there
but showing its maturity
its life
telling its summer story

I see where Bella
the cat
shredded that one leaf
before I could get to her and make
her stop
crying out
as I thought of the tree’s pain

I see where the wind
has browned the leaf edges
where that one arm
hand
always gets whipped by the wind

and then Autumn
slides in so stealthily
sometimes just a few
leaves at a time seal off
become their true color
stop wearing their chlorophyll masks
and take me by surprise
the entire tree is old
and wearing its scars
but still green
with only one armful gone yellow
to mark the shifting of the Orb
on its axis

and I still love the tree flesh
that is now old and golden
the glow
that fills the heavens
love walking through
that thick amber air

I am most shocked
each year when
I look at my friends
there
and see their spines exposed
the bones
the vertebrae
stripped of their flesh
naked

can see each twist
and knuckle
each joint
and knot

can hear those bare
bones clattering
and sawing against
each other
in the night
outside my window
the wind playing
macabre tree bone tunes

the way the arm bones
raw and stark
rise from that spine against a pale
watery winter
sky and turn into hands
phalanges
splayed open and still reaching

I ask them for what
they are reaching all winter
my friends

Why
the Spring
they laugh at me
the Warmth
we are just stretching here
waiting
meditating