It was an overcast late autumn day
With a boisterous wind ripping away last leaves
From already wintering trees to play
A rackety childhood game we called Bank-n-Thieves.
All along our street, the wind was grabbing whole arms-full
Of my banked leaves, and sailing away too far to be seen
By these old eyes of one who already feels the awful pull
Of nature that leaves nothing young and green.
Oh yes, the trees will leaf out again, or keep their odds—
Some die—but seasons now revive the ancient myth
Of something clearly awry among the gods
In Paradise, as we must deal with
Out-of-season subzero ice and snow
So that instead of sweaters we wear insulated coats;
And if it be my fate that I should go
Where they still separate sheep from goats
I’ll hope to be a woolly one who will remain
In a gentle zone of temperate cool
Regardless of the weather, until we perhaps regain
Some hope that seasonal sanity is again the rule.
For now in my own winter, the dark whisper seems
Often at my ear, insisting that I should keep
Preparing for the journey I mostly sense in dreams,
While I remain the weary child fighting sleep.