Sunday, Late October

Maple Leaves


Children ride their bikes

Around the playground path

In orbits and retrogressions.

A small boy strains against his

Pedals, pushing his own weight

Up a gentle rise, into a stiff breeze.


A girl traverses monkey bars

Hand over hand, perfecting her

One-way trip. She starts to work on

Turning at the far end where

She fails, drops to a crouch in soft sand,

Then climbs the rungs to try again.


Warm sun and chill wind play

On the last day without coats.

Under cap bills every face

Squints at low-angled light.

Leaves recall a summer’s worth of sun

In red and yellow flames.


Pendulums creak and groan,

Pacing hidden escapements.

Even unoccupied swings

Meter time for light, air,

Gravity, and those who watch

Children ride toward afternoon.


October 29, 2006

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