the leaves speak

watch us pirouette

prima donnas of the air

multiplying until the brown grass

becomes a patchwork quilt

of many colors

rake us in your sleep

you’ll never be rid of us

aim the blower at us

we spiral into the sky

kidnap us in plastic bags

a squirrel chews a hole

and we work ourselves free

suck us up with powerful machines

and we clog the engines

fence us in, we spill over the edges

we are consummate hangers-on

even in spring you’ll find us

hiding under the stairs

stuck to the roses’s thorns

crammed in the bow of a boat

the hickory nuts

pounding in staccato bursts

predict a hard winter

stop pursuing us with

your clumsy implements

and go cut some wood

if it’s a quest for order

that makes you act this way

go re-arrange the house

but leave us leaves alone.


(Originally published in River Poets Journal)

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