I look back through Novemember’s
just-hanging-on leaves, the negative space
of our promises to drive through Malabar’s
winding road, taking in October’s blasts of color.
The weeks have whipped by, the leaves ignoring my
requests to stay, to never fall away, and my melancholy
drips bitter without the sweet.
Then I see our love’s first fruits hanging
on you, lying on you like so many apples,
our children’s morning sweetness, their bodies’
hard softness, wild hair, pokey elbows,
squishy bellies and meaty feet. They grow
unconditionally from our branches, buds,
and blossoms. They grow their own stems and leaves
and seeds and develop their own autumn flavors.
We drop away when we are ripe
thankful for what we are
what we have
and what we miss.