This Mute Moment in Time

Year after year I return to sit by
this old stream bed framed in sycamore trees
and watch as they slowly release their leaves
to begin the long and silent good-byes.

My elders, the tribe of the sycamore tree—
they watched over us throughout our childhood
as sentinels, when they patiently stood
in our yard and guaranteed shade and breeze—

and now I wander through mounds of their leaves,
each leaf as large as a grown man’s hand
that seems to be open, seems to extend
and let go of hope and the grace we need,

while above me a hawk screams at the past
and rages at this mute moment in time—
and I must be parent and tree is the child,
and the magnitude of that duty is vast,
the autumn of earth descending so fast

that I sink into leaves and my soul is dry
as their crisp closing fists and the old stream bed,
the burnt brown meadow and barren cloud heads,
and I beg of the new gods: Please tell me why.




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