They say the glory of a tree
is in her leaves. Living green
and sap-swollen, leaves have branches
of their own. Summer glory flows
in their veins vibrant and heavy
And then comes the dark of the fall,
the dark coming too early, pressing
down and pressing out their glory,
glory in the leaves before their fall.
She knows the fall is coming;
she knows her glory will fall.
But pre-knowledge doesn’t soften
the heavy blow
of fallen leaves dropping
at her feet, dropping
on teary-dewed grass.
They will come back, they say,
It will grow back.
Small consolation for the tree
whose coming spring will bring a sap
intentionally deadly, a different sap
to flow into her veins, heavy
Looking out from its own trunk,
can the tree see? Can she see
the falling leaves leaving behind
another kind of beauty, a heavier
weight of glory?
This week Bonnie Gray encourages the community to share their Fall Reflections. As I just made a hair donation to be used for a child’s wig—a child who lost hair due to chemotherapy—I’ve been praying for the child who would end up wearing the wig made with my hair. I’ve been trying to put myself in her (his?) place, and this is the poem that came out.
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