Leaf harvest.

September 21, 2013 § 8 Comments

Virginia Creeper.Every autumn there came a day,

(invariably a Saturday or Sunday)

When the colors peaked.

And my father and mother sat in the front seat

of perhaps the maroon Studebaker with the

I LIKE IKE button on the visor.

In the back, my sister and I held empty paper bags,

for the leaf harvest, my brother and his Tonka truck between us.

My father would drive ’til he came to the railroad track,

a silver zipper down the back of the

gaudy dress of September.

Sassafras Leaves,While Chris rode Daddy’s shoulders

Claudia and I candled found leaves against the sun.

Beautiful, more beautiful, most! We dropped them in our sacks.

Then home again to empty bags into baskets,

leaves displayed on the record cabinet,

except those ironed between sheets of wax paper.

Ivy leaf.In the furnace dry-air, leaves curled and embrittled,

until there came a day (invariably a school day)

when baskets were emptied and put away unmissed

Did our leaves join spent teabags in the trash?

Or did our mother stand on our suburban stoop

And offer them to the wind.

Black cherry.

Note: Poetry is like wet cement that has been washed in a sieve until all that is left is the aggregate; the words too striking to slip through the mesh. This piece is not a poem. It is a story written small with line breaks. Memory is a near-poem, a handful of fragments, an arrangement painstakingly made from what is left.

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