Saturday, April 08, 2006

autumn poem

This poem is from 1995, during a dark period when the relationship I was in at the time was coming to an end. Seattle was very dry that summer and fall. The scene (of the poem, not the picture) is the old warehouse district just south of Lake Union, on Terry Avenue.


Tired of being beautiful, red and gold leaves release and fall,
relaxed, to the sidewalk. It has not rained in many days.


Each morning the sidewalk beneath the maple is clear,
a cigarette butt maybe, but the leaves are gone, and the day
seems, (I know the drought has touched my imagination),
to have misplaced its color, relegated to endless grays.


A woman sits, shivering in the cold clear sun, on a bench
beneath the maple tree. She eats a sandwich while she reads
a letter. There are many pages, and after the third page she begins
to cry, tosses the last bites of her lunch into the gutter, and stuffs
the crumpled letter into her purse. A dry breeze scatters stray leaves
as a crow chases several pigeons from the scraps of food.


Tonight, as I sit here, I imagine the moon touches herself briefly
in the joy of completion, bathing in light which reaches me
reflected and fractured by tree limbs, her body crisscrossed like veins
of an eye viewed closely, or the back of an old woman’s hand.


The tree grows more bare and I feel my eyes covered by dust. Dense
clouds pile against mountains to the east, and I pray it will rain soon.

[image source]

No comments: