Caveat

January 24, 2018

To be completely clear:
the trees are not on fire.
No flame blazes so brilliantly,
so capriciously, as these
dying leaves, dyed like the heads
of high school girls and boys,
impossible hues, stolen from
spring and summer’s storeroom:
goldfinch feather, dahlia petal,
fragrant peel of clementine.

I think of the prophet and
the burning bush, and wonder
whether we have long misunderstood
the miracle: a bit of bramble
in the wilderness, lit up
perhaps by color, not by fire.
Would such a sight not call out
to any one of us, as if by name?

And oh, my restless heart,
how like these trees you are!
How is it that you burn, and burn,
and yet are not consumed?