Dec. 1: And when the rains finally come

on the first day of the last month,
we find ourselves walking on
a carpet of golds—some burnished

with smudges of cinnamon—but mostly
ginkgo leaves the color of new lemons,
a startling contrast to the wet road.

We are drawn to put our feet on them,
what yesterday seemed determined
to cling to where they’d been born,

but like us, once so firmly attached,
somehow persuaded to detach,
find a place among what some

might consider litter as we scuff
damp toes through them like
little kids, bending to peer more

closely, absorbing the colors of
marigolds, of honey, of bumblebees
that cruised the garden, itself

turning tawny, the once vibrant
now the texture of a broken-in
saddle. Which is why, out here,

we exult in color on a such dull day,
knowing that shades of daffodils
still exist, underfoot and underground,

colors so alive that even in
their dying we can taste them:
mustard—Dijon and regular,

mango and tangerine with
a little carob tossed into this
leafy salad of ginkgo gold.

(for Deborah Meltvedt, River Park walking buddy)

Photo / Jan Haag

About janishaag

Writer, writing teacher, editor
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