All afternoon his tractor pulls a flat wagon
with bales to the barn, then back to the waiting
chopped field. It trails a feather of smoke.
Down the block we bend with the season:
shoes to polish for a big game,
storm windows to batten or patch.
And how like a field is the whole sky now
that the maples have shed their leaves, too.
It makes us believers—stationed in groups,
leaning on rakes, looking into space. We rub blisters
over billows of leaf smoke. Or stand alone,
bagging gold for the cold days to come.
~David Baker “Neighbors in October”
There is a desperation to these October days:
the leaves torn from branches by unrelenting gusts
with no thought to where they may land~
upon which patch of grass or gravel will be their final resting place
to wilt and wither in the rain,
buried by eventual peaceful snowbanks
until they return to dust.
Or in my need to hold on to what I can
of what was,
I preserve a few like precious treasure,
tucked between book pages
to remain forever neighbors
with the words they embrace.
A book with beautiful words and photography (but no leaves tucked inside) is available to order here: