like a leaf)
have seen you, shaking like a leaf,
in the cool of fall,
more and more like a butterfly,
your wings stiffen for a final flight.
have tried to hold you in my palm,
warm the essences of your marrow,
your edges yellowed in the sun
dried to yellow-red.
red is the broken stem bleeding,
gold the memory of spring,
you warmed yourself closest to the sun,
the safety of height.
now, the gravity of the situation,
midnight sleep on death row,
those who have finished leaving,
have they fallen from grace?
though you've never jumped before,
heart has now turned to stone,
star's teardrops paint targets
the bulls-eye autumn winds.
we should have spoken with the birds
this desperate plunge.
have tested the air and returned
know a salvation from the dark.
the ground now circles you,
a buzzard waiting patiently.
you now take this first,
rejoin your friends, the squirrels,
in their romping,
turn cartwheels with the wind,
To be blown and never return home again?
~~~ by Michael Chaussee