"When, In the Acre of Leaves"

A lot of my poems have the them of movement and transition, of change over time. This is one of the ones where the theme is not only present, but is central to the poem overall. The speaker is sort of a fictional, alternate version of myself. I grew up surrounded by trees and in the woods and along deserted roads there were streams and old broken down cars and discarded things.

When, in our youth, we formed great big words with rounded edges, we always intended those "i love you"s and "forever"s and "no one but you"s to resonate honey sweet off the gates of heaven and overtake, in wayward dreams, even the divine and ineffable throne. God above. Hallowed be thy name. And fallen leaves build upon the ground, brown and yellow, reflecting tree trunks and wind blowing and small children running and the dew drops forming the day after that light sprinkle of rain, a mist woven by a morning ghost of a storm. And fallen leaves wait and rot and wilt and wash down into gullies, collecting silt. Red and black. Moments. Holding hands with our wide eyed stares, looking upwards and seeing clouds, we danced and we screamed and we hollered and kicked up dust and dirt roads were traversed and this, thank you Jesus, this was our hideout, in the trees next to the old car which our parents assured us was dangerous and a breeding ground for snakes and lustful temptations. Who was the first loved? Who was the first given, in their hearts, to that season of ourself? That great spring, fresh and damp and filled with aromatic want, misting of redemption? Who did we first speak, breath life into, bring out of dirt? Who did we first forget? Learn to hate? Watch fall And build there, in that acre of leaves? When, as children, we painted in great big strokes and rounded corners; it was funny and infuriating to watch the paint drip slightly out of place and just ruin a perfect sunset with rainwater color. A washed out storm aflight, and our eyes descended, teary eyed for no reason why, and all the heart inside swelled to the point of bursting and passing on into the next page of white.

This poem was written in 2005 by W Doug Bolden, and has been posted on May 5, 2006.

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