you told me once the seasons' changing
was our own lives from dawn to dark,
our movements shifting with our smiles
by etching hearts to quivering bark.
and in my dream i saw a vision of a thousand faces burning,
each twisted smile melting, releasing souls
i soon forgot.
in light of my forgetting i spoke to seven children.
they said, "come with us, be bathed in shadow;
you'll never dream again."
so i followed, never knowing where the footsteps might be going:
their candlesticks were glowing
and the staircase creaked alone.
in other dreams i saw the snow fall as it hit the ground in mourning,
each buried root was screaming for the life
it stood to lose.
in spite of all the losing i remembered what you told me.
you said, "emptiness eclipses sorrow;
it follows that goodbye."
so i stood empty, never feeling what you promised would be healing:
like a thousand prayers in kneeling,
i collapsed onto the floor.
but in a third i saw the moment when all the leaves were browning;
the wicked wind was strewing the paper tears
across the ground.
to right the wilted sadness i threw the leaves back upward.
it said, "no, my boy, stop fighting winter;
the ice will loose your grasp."
so i was showered, grasp still slipping, with leaves down from the branches stripping,
gold harbingers of seasons' tipping.
the first frost filled the air.
and though you smile from benches shaded
by trees in summer, winter, fall,
i do not think you know me, darling,
if ever you knew me at all.