Dead leaves rustle without
too much fuss. Trees strip down–
bony limbs shivered down to nothing,
branches bent like old clothes hangers.
Nature’s chemo kicking in.
Insects disappear as if by magic.
Life gets lived closer to the ground–
the lobby floor where life and death
shake hands before an important meeting.
The days grow shorter as does the grass.
The smell of wood smoke rising, grey
plumes crosscut by a north wind; it is
only the stub end of autumn smoldering
before it fizzles out. Time unwinding
like the mainspring of a cheap watch.
Wintered on the wire, birds rattle their cages
just enough to remind the Jailer. Even Mexico is beyond
their means. Somewhere a hard rain is guttered—
flushing downspouts, stirring the good earth, but badly.
Soon, the ground will harden, meringued with frost.
I once believed the dead could rise, the
better part of us somehow escaping–a kind
of separation without divorce. That the seed
sown would take root . That life
went on as before—pleasant, forgetful, benign.
But I was wrong.
The dead are like everything else
that grows out of season.
They only last one planting.
Copyright © D G Geis 2017
D.G. Geis lives in Houston, Texas. His first book, Fire Sale, will be published this January by Tupelo Press.