Sometimes the falling leaves feel heavy, brown, smothering
adding up to all the moments I wasn’t quite enough
for me, my son, my parents, my husband, my everyone
burying possibility in a dank pile of mush.
But sometimes the falling leaves feel floaty, golden, freeing
each one an echo of an imperfectly grateful exhale
that becomes the laugh I least expected
forming piles of possibility in layers of fading sunlight.
The sun hides for months on end in these latitudes
sleet and slush the begrudged and grungy visitor
plastered in a haze across our once-bright windows
shrouding the memories of headlong hedonism.
I never welcome the grungy grey gracefully
but rather struggle to find the golden in the brown.
It always turns out, though, that freedom from smother
is simply the gratitude for good.
Open-mouthed kisses blown from wide-spread fingers
A husband sleeping on the couch to give his wife a quiet bed
Ukelele strums with mumbled half-assed harmonies
A photo book made with painstakingly perfect captions and colors.
Meanwhile, the leaves fall like so many stories
each one sighing through the air with its own
weight and momentum
settling into the piles that layer our lives.