Box of Empty Leaves

Every autumn, as the bright lamps
extinguish along the roadside, leaves
strewn, blowing, brilliant,
I imagine I will collect the very best
of the maples, the sycamores, the
fire of New England and put them
in a box for her

and I will save her.

In her parents’ house, she waits
within a darkened room
that she will never leave,
every delicate nerve burnt
by the razor howl of Lyme spirochetes
that turn sunlight her enemy.
I imagine her opening the wet leaves,
pushing her face into the past
and walking, again, with me

in damp forest,
the breath of decay
sweet and lingering. I imagine her
shuffling, scattering the leaves
as though walking through
infinity.

How she lives again.

But every autumn, I watch, too late,
for the right moment to collect
what I can for her, until the
November wind takes the gifts
from my hands, returning
only what is brown and lost.

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About David

Prone to musing and to being prone. Father to two, writer, engineer.
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