The last fragment of summer

The first of the November gales landed here this morning stripping away the last cheerful leaves on the cherry and birch and leaving bare skeletons. I watched the leaves gather and lodge in drains and gullies and am melancholy for summer.

The last fragment of summer

I didn’t see you, clustered in the company of others.

Where you danced and waved, among brighter brothers

Each bud that burst, unfurled in early May

Fresh Herald call your welcome, to another summer’s day

Sweet clustered blooms of just a single day

Swath verge and drive in petals at wild play

That dance and swirl on every warm updraft

And parachute, while spinning fore and aft

Then rise again on random summer breeze

And tumble forth and snag, then fly and tease

Ragged gypsy petals melt like sugared snow

And for that week, along the lane, we each a cherry grow,

Then again you stand, common and unseen

Among the chorus of plain summer green

A leaf that offers shelter to your seed

As with the plundering finch you quietly plead.

Summer fails and yields to golden autumn days

And the world is washed in ruby tinted haze

Your brothers turn, burnt orange, edges torn

Bare branches that the fragile ash and willow scorn

All lost now to the blast of autumn gale

Or torn adrift by driving rain and hail

One by one your sibling shed and die

Silhouetted stark against the winter sky

Now you stand, at last, obvious to me

The last leaf on my lonesome cherry tree

Desolate in the killing wind you play

The last fragment of that remembered early summer day

Certain now is your harsh demise

I watched your death beneath cheerless November skies

Took summer and left me frozen and alone

As you cartwheel across the dreary winter lawn.

© Dave Kavanagh @

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