Autumnal Birches

I have given you the middle fall.
The first crisp moon of the frosting wind,
In the drying of late August, I smell Stowe
But with the moist burgundy odors, my thoughts
will turn to you.

On the 13th of July, you may or may not get
a card, a letter or a phone call.
My first beer after the 13th will be sipped
to a silent tribute to you.
But I will never breath the air of mid-september
without a longing for your company.

The bloom of Queen Anne’s lace belongs to my grandmother.
All hardy wild roses belong to Judy,
Except the beach rose which carries me to the Cape.
The blue corn flower belongs to Beth
My mother, the dried milk weed
Roz, the yellow rose
And you the autumnal birch

I will hear you running down a mountain
from an early moon rise over a still lake
I will hear you say: Fall is going, smell it now.
Your voice will pull my childhood joys from my heart
And bring me back to my New England home.

Wandering the stone walls and ancient roads
that weave through the marshes and forests of my youth.

In the fall I walked through them slowly,
Pulling dead trees from their decayed roots,
Laying on the patches of sun warmed moss.
Finding the first icy skim of a muddy foot print under
the red, orange and yellow tapestry of my memory.

I will tap it lightly with my toe.
In breaking it I will discover,
the warmth still found within the soil.
In this hidden warmth, I find your love.

I don’t know if I will spend another fall among those eskers and drumlins
again. I miss the little winter chickadee and the rare cardinal.
The noisy squirrel running from stump to canopy beckoning the way of winter
Has been, in a way replaced, by the thieving magpie and the raucous Puck, Raven.

So this is the way that I live.
I live with the friends I cherish hidden in the wilderness around me
Each waiting for a season,
Each waiting for their bloom.
Your embrace is here now,
Your embrace awaits me yet.

Queen Annes Lace