Autumn Walk

She waits for herself
at the corner of Maple and Juniper
in red autumn, where the wind
blows leaves into restless
heaps, in gutters, against disdainful
evergreen hedges, across un-bordered
lawns dreaming in rust of childhood

—stretching out her fingers
to touch the carefree child inside
—waiting as the sundial slants
wan into the shadow
where October becomes November
and creeps on

and then, from between clapboard
homes a delighted shout emerges
—two little girls wrestling with
a black and white patched dog
who, ball in mouth, flanks rippling
with fun, avoids them clumsy,
dripping saliva, running panting circles
round them as the three
roll on the ground, punctured ball
ripped from between willing jaws
by grim effort-soiled hands
—then, thrown floppy, whistling
into the air, dog jumping feet
off the ground, face, jaws, straining
upwards parallel to hers
in the crisp November air

 

Snapped by the camera of memory
satisfied, between the leaves
wetting down
in the first winter rains,

she walks on
her gait a little faster now
 

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© Johnmichael Simon

2005

.