Poem: Claiming Color

white birch

Claiming Color

In the quarry, even before the first day of fall,
the birches change color, the leaves turning yellow
waiting their turn to fall.

There are fewer wildflowers among the slabs of slate.
The survivors are hardy, spiky things,
yellow and purple snipers of color.

Clamber up the stones and you can see the fields,
rich and green and waiting
for the harvest season.

In the distance, you can see the farm workers
in their stained khaki pants and chambray shirts,
digging sweet potatoes in the morning light.

For a time, you miss those who have died before you were ready.
for them to go. And then for a time, you are joyous
that they lived at all, filling your life with summer color for so long.

You look up at the birches. The leaves rustle in the morning wind.
Life is good. As it blossoms. As it fades.
As it becomes something new.

You breathe in the air. There is warmth in it.
Summer is not yet done. Your own summer is not yet done.
The season of beauty, so fresh and new

can stand a cold night or two. Less a harbinger
than a promise of seasons to come. All of it waiting
for your courage to claim the color of the day.

About this feeling. 

There is an older couple in the diner this morning. A flirty fun pair. They are what I have always wanted to be, but didn’t think, after my divorce, I would be again.

And yet, here I am. Life is an unexpected, beautiful thing.

By the way, the leaves are starting to change here. It’s an exquisite time.

Tom

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