So trued to a roar,
so accustomed to a grimace
of against, I hardly noticed
it was over.

Like an invalid I crept
out into the open
(since when was there an open?)
and like a revenant lipped

the names of things
turned things again:
white pine, quaking aspen,
shagbark that by all rights

should have been shorn.
Was it for this, I asked
(since when was there someone to ask?)
that I was born?

No answer, unless of leaves
acquiring light, and small lives
going about their business
of being less,

and on the clear pond
(and in the clearer beyond)
the mien of a man
unraptured back to man.


Eyvind Earle, Red Leaves © 2021 Eyvind Earle Publishing. Used by permission.