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Snow globes have such a sad
reality; there’s never a moment
when a sun crests its heat
over plexi-glass ozone
to melt its delicate cold away.
It settles
after a shake which scatters each particle
like the spectators at an opera house at intermission who float
back to their seats just
in time for the final act. It dusts
everything during that brief interlude
between the prolonged and deep silences
with ceaseless, long-lasting, abandoned
hope: a punctuation of each repeated fall.

When leaves drop in November there’s always a knock
at the door; someone who’ll sweep them neatly
into thirty gallon, black bags pulled
taut with bright red draw-strings to be carted away the very next day.
By December, already, we anticipate the Spring.

I’ve traveled often in the woods: noted that permanent
bed of leaves cast underfoot
(the ancient giants no longer nimble at the joint
don’t bend
to pick them up).
Come late summer they’ll still remain: deep
banks that shelter the decay.
In quiet the arbors
wait for the next season to stir the prolix of leaves
—the gossip of the trees.

I stood to watch the yard boy rake them into neat piles;
he was clearly of humble origin. He was strong and hard at work,
each leaf from the threat of breezes. He sang gospel
at the wind.

Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound.
He kept sweeping up decay
How precious did that grace appear
when the leaves were raked away.
The earth shall soon dissolve like snow,
but my decay was raked
away, bundled into bags and carted away.

First published April 30 on the IAM Global Blog (2010)