after a line from William Stafford

When the leaves are about to yellow and fall
ask me then how I tried to hold on to what was green,
how I thought perhaps I was different,
how everything I thought I knew about gold
turned brittle and brown. Ask me what it was like
to fall then. Sometimes the world’s workings feel transparent
and we know ourselves as the world. Sometimes
the only words that can find our lips are thank you,
though the gifts look nothing like anything
we ever thought we wanted. Sometimes, gratitude
arrives in us, not because we are willing,
but because it insists on itself, like a weed,
like a wind, like change.


Posted by kind permission of the poet. From Naked for Tea (Able Muse Press, 2018).