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by Kevin T. McEneaney
Tue Oct 18th, 2016

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.