Autumn’s Fall

Autumn's Fall

It starts falling slowly, rocking back and forth
the last leaf of deepest scarlet freckled with light amber
joining the quilt of autumn patches that blanket
the earth from which our sycamore tree grew 

Your eyes trace its path
left to right, right to left,
and down, down, down
Taking a tube of glue and
a roll of tape, you stumble into
the light of the alizarin sun and pick up the leaves
gluing each one back onto the branches and
reinforcing them with tape

My eyes wander to the tree
Thin, bare branches flimsily attached with
separate, dry patches swaying gently in the
autumn breeze, your recalcitrant tape and glue refusing
to let the wind tear them away

As eventide fades to let the night pin
its inky curtains with a star, the leaves
are still attached but turn insipid, bistre, and umber 
as a year’s worth of nights pass
Crippled rufous leaves
Cold dry dirt

My eyes witness the fruitlessness of our tree
that coming summer and I pull at
the leaves and let them fall to the ground and wait
another summer for new leaves to grow
but the bare branches only reach down for
the crumbled leaves below.