Back in 1997, I self-published a book of poetry called The King’s Gift: Poems and Parables. It contained this one that I titled “Change”:
In autumn, the trees start to sing once again
of the bittersweet mystery of change. Is it beauty or pain now attached to my soul? Is it grief… …or relief… …or nostalgia? In the scarlet and gold, the blood-red of life’s hold on my heart and the warmth of its love mingles memories and years into afternoon tears falling softly …as leaves… …to the ground.
I feel this way every fall. The change in light makes everything seem altered and thrown back into the past — until my eyes adjust and my brain catches up. Then the brilliance of the season kicks in. I really love Fall for its ability to draw out a range of emotion and hold it, fully aware and unashamed, in its transient environment.
Ever had one of those days? Decidedly moody, unable to focus, liable to shed tears at any moment. It started as I was driving in to work. By lunch break, I had a poem scribbled on the back of a museum map in my pocket. By afternoon break, I had texted my children just to tell them I missed their dad. Lovely souls that they are, they reached back immediately with cyber hugs. (thanks, kids!) So here’s the poem – no title came with it.
What can I do?
— it’s October
the sumac is red and my poor, backward head
is flooding nostalgia like liquid amber.
If I picked up guitar and a blues-country twang
— and sang
it’d be you in the sunshine
white overalls, your shirt as blue as your eyes
walking me home from school
sweet, musky sweat
your warm, solid arm
the newness of the world in the flash of your smile