This year’s leaves
seem so tired
with the weight of it all.
The summer’s bulk
of seclusion and grief
pining, and pressing, on limbs.
Leaves held on, all summer, for no reason
The sheer force of the sun keeping their veins intact
As the trickery of June fell into the acquiescence of August,
So tired, our arms,
So heavy, with summer’s weight.
The long influence of nature,
Pestilent in its grasp,
Raucous in its reach
Stretching and coiling,
Finding its way across oceans and peaks
Months in the making,
The dry, hot weight of it all
struggling to breathe,
heavy with the burden.
This year’s leaves are many, and varied
Some young, some green, most old
And rattling, struggling to breathe.
The weight of it all, suddenly falling,
In bright, sun-spotted crescents of cool
Air pulling them away in one final flourish,
Axils pulled free from their one simple strand.
Still, they seem so happy, these leaves
Content to be free of their captors,
Pleased to be falling to Earth
One final twirl, they breathe out, to the finish.
Death, in the end,
comes in waves of crashing color.
But the falling away is a sigh, not a sound.
And the cessation is not, so much, a dissent
as one final,
(c) Catherine Goodman 2020
Dedicated to all we’ve lost.