Once the winds died down
leaves extended across the yard.
Under the ash tree
the top layer was papery brown,
below, against the grass,
they were soggy, pressed flat,
colors more yellow and gold
as if preserved, caught mid change.

I pulled the leaves into piles;
the cat jumped off the picnic table
away from the rake’s tines
scratching over cement.
Two, then three pyramids
aimed at the gray sky.
The world an overturned bowl
with only room enough for this small scene:
A yard, a figure, a tree.

I flipped the leaves into the lid of a garbage can
and from there into a black plastic bag,
a two person job really, clumsy alone,
trying to hold and pour at the same time.
From above, leaves continued to fall.
The slightest breeze and they’d let go.
A few settled in my hair,
a couple drifted right into a pile
as if they knew all along where to land.

Published in Adobe Walls

Photo by Martin Sepion on Unsplash