Stealing leaves. November, 2016.


I wrote this poem yesterday as another step in processing the moral climate of our country.


“Stealing leaves.  November, 2016.”

“This is the first time I’ve seen anyone stealing leaves.”

My neighbor had caught me in the act,

wheelbarrow loaded full with bags full

of leaves he had bagged, and placed on the curb,

the place unwanted objects wait for pick up.

He said it with a grin, and I grinned back.

This pick up was for the soil, I replied,

in our back yard, the garden.

His tree gifting us with free nutrients.

A good neighbor.


I carted and dumped and spread and ran those leaves

over and over with a lawnmower, which roared and moaned

like anyone enjoying a good meal,

the bits of leaves now resting

on the ground,

ready to absorb

and multiply this offering.


It is getting colder and darker,

and I need to know

that somewhere,

very near our door,

life is having its way with death;

that the spent earth is being replenished,

that the neighborhood is still intact,

held together by grins and gifts.