Autumn Leaves

The orange leaves maple red-orange wet
stick to the cement pavement dot dabs
blossom the evergreen rhododendron
leaves a second bloom in a wild season

The squirrels rush along summer songs
kisses and sunburnt hands fall and fail
return to sender on repeat and I did not
see the leaves falling but there they are

like the linoleum floor of the barber shop
where I’ve not been since last fall and Joe
and the Barbettes sing and dance about
the fallen hair the yellow silver hair falls

falling to the floor like the falling leaves
outdoors golden drifts now to be swept
the grating rake the browning mass pile
and the nights grow long not the days

I’ve never understood that Johnny Mercer
line in Autumn Leaves – for the days grow
short not long as the song of winter comes
closer and you my love move further away.

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