For The Scribes

Fall in Love With Fall: Willie Kinard’s Elegy for Old Leaves

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Here at FTS, we, the Scribes, have decided to kick off the Fall in Love with Fall Challenge with some of our own original work! Here is “Elegy for Old Leaves” from chroma., my forthcoming chapbook.

Elegy for Old Leaves

Bootleg bass lines over late night breezes, September is a tease.
Flirting with the equinox and lay-over for 80-degree weather,
Virgo season foreshadows a homegoing.
A funeral of heat, a cremation of daylight,
a spreading of ashes on tax-free weekends, and a reminder that
Darkness remembers that Dusk is his mistress during the year’s last quarter,
no matter how much she cries for him in May,
her voice stronger in October.
Taking green from matured saplings,
dropping like blowflies after insecticide.
They remind me of the fallen leaves of my family tree
and how any sign of color is always short-lived,
always ridiculed and chastised.
Great-grandmother’s voice took power from burns.
I wonder how much warmth she left us to eulogize summers with.
Such a beautiful death, to go out in color.
To go out, in color, adored. To go out, in style.
To go out, like skin shed. To go out, like old leaves.
I have imitated these leaves,
disappearing under ice.
But birth, but glorious rebirth.
Spring always follows with instruction.
Nurture. Hydrate. Prune. Defend.
Soak in this light.
I garden this bed,
rake out old leaves,
expecting fruit.
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