Before the leaves fall


The kitchen window boxes visions of them

and us

of neighbours’ coming in

going out

of strangers walking dogs

breeds we can’t identify between the fence,

mongrels then

of a street six weeks empty

to full of cars raging;

@ the ten-to-nine bell, the late bell at five-to

(there is a school opposite us)


Before the leaves fall from the trees across from ours,

I enjoy watching them, newborn-to-compost

ignoring they exist – writing poetry with the subject matter of them


Before the leaves fall from trees that aren’t ours

on the council’s land

but feel like the trees are ours

because my eyes sees them most

and before I knew what they were, in a front-facing pram, those trees saw me first

on happy days, days I was in a daze or didn’t want to talk or when getting out the door seemed too much, they were my days out in


Before I knew of photosynthesis or of habitats or the importance of trees enabling us to breathe

They are fine as thread like a tight-rope acrobat working all his life

between aesthetic and purpose and a botanical listing


Now leaves fall in our garden, from the tree dad planted for us

Before we knew he wouldn’t see it grow

wouldn’t see the apples it boast, rake the leaves, cut the grass


Before the leaves fell from other trees

Now they fall from ours too,

each one reminds us

of everything we loved, everything we fear of

the cost of loving, of beautiful things,

the cost of is losing them


Before the leaves fall

prepare yourself


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