Autumn Vigil
by Doug Bolling

Each day now yellow leaves gravely fall
from the maple guarding the window,
this house.

And day by day this empty eye of glass
becomes itself a world of yellowing
telling of more than leaves

drifting earthward deaf to the songs
of beginnings, endings, all
short dreams between.

All this at edge of what I call myself,
myself the cautious one of flesh
wanting more than solitude of bone,

wanting to stand here a willing witness
to such seeming innocence of that
descending in golden loveliness,

bright shield against the frown of winter,
its hard laughter that no longer
recalls cousinage of spring.

I could retreat to wrmth of interior
rooms where firelight beguiles even
shadows into life,

a cheating of demise finding
consolation in the slow
burning of logs.

But I remain fixed here
amorous of such a scene,
this patient witness to time

that dwells with the
yellowing of leaves
silent in their fall.

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