A touch of yellow has touched
some aspen leaves shifting in the breeze.
I see them through my window
while a Zoom call unfolds on a screen.
I want to say I noticed this morning,
on a walk
that I spoke their name back to them
or gave them a piece of my life.
But I didn’t.
This morning, the screen won.
Because to know a dying leaf up close
is to grab the thread that takes me to all the others
dying in ways less temporary,
whose fall is forever,
Whose eventual winter stillness carries none
of that fresh snow sparkle.
Each day, I hear the call to feeling;
the invitation to something real,
Love on the condition of reality -
An excruciating terminal affair -
a yearning to walk barefoot in the dirt
and know each step outside my mind.
To listen to the distant echoes of belonging
rippling from canyon walls,
Walking on, closer, to find the one whose
Bouncing voice grows weaker
Each time I choose the screen.
I want to ramble away,
Beyond this dust-smeared window,
Close enough to see ants exploring aspen trunks,
to taste the tears for the destruction my life reaps,
And finally welcome home
the long-numbed ache
of being awake.