A Sestina

November 14th, 2016

Sestina

I watch with wonder this approach of Fall
How do trees know when to colour leaves?
How far can one goose hear the southern call?
Who tells the birds to fill the skies?
What signals orchestration of the freeze?
I wonder who it is who plans it all.

Today, I glimpsed a pattern to it all
In stretch of sky and soft leaf fall,
In icy lace of pond’s first freeze,
In last song as the warbler leaves.
I think I saw a hint in snowy skies
As all of Earth responds to timeless call.

If the geese flew lower, I would call
Them in and turn them, one and all,
To leave the labours of the icy skies,
And fill the fields, to glean the harvest fall
That the careless reaper always leaves
In stubble where the furrows soon will freeze.

Before the days grow short and dark and freeze,
Before the sun retreats too far to call,
Before the warmth of summer finally leaves,
I’d like to make a study of it all,
And parse this fascination that is fall,
To know it well from icy pond to graying skies.

But who am I to wish to read the skies?
As if it is a pattern I could freeze
In one still place and label it as “Fall”
And hold it static at my beck and call,
So that, with time, I could study it all,
Piece by piece, where nothing ever leaves.

Yet I wonder how I’d still patterns of leaves
That swirl their dance of colour in the skies,
Before they reach the fate that waits them all.
Before they fade and curl beneath the freeze.
I wonder – Does the Earth send each a call,
To tell each Dancer where to fall?

I think each of us leaves without the all-
Knowing reason for the call for Earth to freeze.
And do we dance a while on skies, before our time to fall?

© iloilo

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