St. Paul, MN USA
She melts into a purple cloud:
she silvers the hunter's moon;
her maple's burning-orange leaves
sing of a sleep coming soon.
She flowers her language in leaves ashen-red,
so shortly, clothed breathlessly;
I blink: they wave down about my head
seeking covers of snow eternally.
I drink of her flowers: still-silken, their leaves
and, for a short while, I knew
by heart, the song this coolness breathes
where once the snowdrops grew.
Crystalline frosts lie upon the grass
misted early mornings now wake cold:
the smallest of puddles are roofed with glass,
reflecting her reds and her golds.
The notes of the cricket grow soft and seek length
as does the sparrow's, aloft in some bough;
as day gives up self, the night gains its strength,
both singing still; no, not for long now.
I cannot take with me her sun and that sky:
a song I can't hear, yet it sings to my eye-
and even now, she bends her head
over rich, dark roses, still blushing red.
Autumn dies in beauty:
by color and by fire;
but her shroud will be woven
As snow-white attire.
Night lays its head upon my brow:
In sleeping I shall dream
Of her silver-pointed willow boughs
Dripping their fingers in leaden streams.
September 29, 1999