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Late Morning

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.

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