Wednesday, November 6, 2013

About Those Falling Leaves

It's really autumn now. Days are shorter and cooler, and leaves on the trees are changing from green to various shades of yellow, orange, red, and brown. In my neighborhood, leaf blowers and rakes have already been pressed into service to remove the first round of dropped leaves.

I am pretty sure that most gardeners can figure out, without any trouble or help from me, that all those falling  leaves blanketing their lawns would make great mulch and/or compost, but awhile back (ten years?) I wrote a poem about those leaves. I do not have any delusions about being a good enough poet that great hoards of people would want to read what I have written, but I'm going to post it here anyway.

Last year, a week after my house was smashed by an oak tree, my father died. He had been suffering from pancreatic cancer, so his passing was not a huge surprise. However, I remember his telling me once that he really liked this particular poem. That may have something to do with the return of the poem to my mind this year, even though he died in summer.


They fall -- yellow stars
and tulips of sweetgum and poplar,
the red and orange of maple,
dogwood's burgundy.
My neighbor looks out
across the bright mosaic
of her yard and goes
to fetch the rake.
She shifts the luminous host
into plastic, scowls
as rags of color twirl
away, across her tidy lawn.
At night, I remove
the black bags from the curb,
take them to my yard,
set autumn free.


  1. I love that you set autumn free, and I'm sorry for your loss. Happy Fall :)

  2. Shelly, Thank you for taking the time to leave the nice note. Hope your garden is beautiful this fall!



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