The deep shade of cottonwood leaves
that make a raw-edged carpet
cooling summer grass
blows away in October wind that lifts it
like floating gauze.
I see no shadow now, only frail twigs
clinging to a barren tree.

Even things that seem so solid
can be elusive.
Things verified by sight, touched by skin
can vanish in a breath.
A tiny tilt of earth, an unfelt wobble
in its orbit and everything breaks loose.

A twist of time, a change of heart
and love itself becomes begrudged
affection, a toleration of accustomed
presence. Love that was once
a carpet’s comfort spread across
the ache of years can thin out
into rags of habit.