End of a Season

The leaves fall gold on brown.

The stripped branch seems to die.

Our glory gifts trampled flat on the ground
As if they aren't treasure and never mattered.

As if they never caught the sunlight and shattered
in a thousand amber gems on a sapphire sky.

As if they hadn't transformed every street, every curve for those days.

As if love had never etched above us in ruby umbrellas
Deaf to death rumbling up in a cloud
While we sat in comfort and shade.

The end of a season's lease
with no renewal option,
no clause to cease the loss.

From the pile, I clutch a still-bright leaf,
But I can’t keep it long --
The wind has reached in greedy fingers:
Last week golden, this week gone.

and all along
we think this loss ...
drink deep the loss ...
but it can't be said.
so we talk of the wind
we complain of the cold
we pretend
that everything isn't gone.

Then I catch a phrase on an open page:
God is ever true to His promises.
And when I reach the "promises" part
Something thuds in my heart.
A word, a thought, some clod of hope hits
Oh I can't whisper it to myself yet.

But down in the gaping hole it sits.

And one day
Before darkness visits
at 5 pm,
I grieve the leaves
and hollow out the hard hole
to press in a small tree that may survive the late planting, the cold.
And (crazy) I tell its roots,
"Reach out
Stretch out!
It's hard but please
begin again."
The Creator plants His courage.

I Corinthians 1:9

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