As such things go, these two could pass
this spot unseen a dozen times.
Our eyes perceive no need
to watch the mortally defined.
They dawdle in their chance remarks
on what remains of autumn.
A shuffling of leaves and litterings trouble
their two-step sally forth.
And yet this once we steal a second glance.
Fair of face and once a keeper of the thrall,
she may still stir the heart in afterthought.
Hod bearer, built to haul the stones
and shake the trunks of mighty elms,
he shoulders weight of steps untaken now.
They know their path past familiar.
Long enough for him to reach the corner oak,
knuckle bark and pause to sit for breath.
A clamor of children swings the limbs behind.
He raps her place on the bench. She settles by.
Her fingers worry remnants on his brow.
Little else to do in light of such.
He shrugs away this thought.
His paw, still large for all the loss, covers
her sudden shudder against the coming.
He pats. She rubs.
The children shriek to rocks beyond.
Touching takes this conversation deeper.
Can so much remain to say again?
He harrumphs. She laughs
in that way she always had and wags
a finger in the face of things.
He nods. She winks.
The wind whips.
The tree explodes its canopy
and they two catch sailing yellows,
burning reds in flight,
a tangle of veins and bones.
The children come to ground.
These hands now hold
a legacy of leaves.
Bless this cup
this falling together.