Articles/Essays – Volume 56, No. 3

The Days Between—After Leaving Our YoungestAt College

It’s turning fall in this long alley of young trees,
poplar leaves still and golding in deep shade.
You see no one and hear not even birds.

But the pale trunks together seem to hum
like choir rows, the performance
of their true colors imminent.
Chlorophyl diminished as if by some faint
baton signal, so begins a movement toward
what they are deeply: it begins to shine through.
Finally left to their own devices,
they are creating their own light—
bright yellows to copper edged tawny.
How easy it looks.

A flutter, and like slow
wings, branch to branch,
one leaf then another. A great relaxation
is coming—widening pools will color the ground.
How brief the days seem.
What’s changeable, what’s not.

Photos of these tree rows hang on our wall,
near windows, where a slowed process of light
works its way: they receive openly
and over time give up
their paper color by faint degrees . . .

Better to walk with the upright
trunks and feel each part
of the falling—the infusion toward boldness
in frescoed light . . . the tremor . . .
the rift . . . the letting go.

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