You are startled to see it,
a single red leaf, the first of the season,
a refugee from a tree of green just ahead,
the sole truth bearer, reminder
that today the seasons change
and the world will become both more beautiful
and more harsh,
its youthful exuberance fading with each passing night.
Soon, there will be frost.
Lightly at first. Then icy hard
as the weeks and months careen into winter.
Days will grow shorter. Nights, longer.
But you are the rebel. Always a bit off season,
off-kilter, contrary – not enough to be dangerous,
but just enough to be noticed,
a thing of color when the world is green,
and green when the world explodes in red, yellow and death,
a bothersome thing to some,
a strange thing to others,
true more to yourself than calendars or years or station,
you dance in the wind,
and sing in the night like a drunken sailor in church.
About this poem
This was going to be a poem about the Fall Equinox, which is today. But as so often happens when I sit down to write things, it came out as something entirely different.
I sometimes think I don’t write this stuff. I’m just the scribe.