Last Promise: A New Poem
Promise me, that when the leaves turn in the wind
or in the falling, you’ll remember. And smile
at the day we spent under the green ocean dome
that welled above us, all ebb and flurry, each leaf-shake
a flutter held, a quark of forest time shifting
and regrouping, but yet the whole — the copse within
the wood that was the whole of it to us — set slow. Slower,
the further out we looked, until our eyes could see
no further than an army-band of trunks upholding calm.
The wood protects us. I could not bear for you to see it all. We are too small.
So when the coming time is here
and you see a leaf is turning green to brown
and beginning its intention to descend, anticipating
the day of its great fall, twisting, pirouetting even,
high above the floor that’s calling: come. Come. When
you see it twist this way and that, testing the stick of its stalk,
the heft of its trust, look. Look closer, past the colour of its sap,
the flow of its line in space, in time, and know it has practiced
what it needs, all summer long dancing with the wind. And think of
me and how I loved the leaves and brought you there to see you smile.
And smile. Now, promise me.