At two I kicked orange-red-yellow leaves
shushing underfoot into damp twilight.
At four I rolled in brisk, dry, crackling leaves
until I fell to a swoon of wonder.
At six I raked withered, rain-wetted leaves
into piles, putting them in garbage bags.
At ten I tossed armfuls of crisp leaves
to bonfires, roasting marshmallows on sticks.
At twenty I lost interest in leaves
when they dully blew in blustery wind.
At forty I realized my big mistake:
I fell in love with once more with leaf-color.
At sixty leaves haunted me with a message—
leaves will someday vanish before my eyes.
At seventy I see crumpled leaves fall
and think that I, too, will soon be a leaf.
At eighty the gusting leaves will still blow:
I’ll not be able to go where they go.