These Leaves

Original Publish Date: 11.1.00

I got a Thanksgiving card from Mom today
With the reds, oranges, and yellows of fall
Cut out of the cover into a string of leaves and a pumpkin.
She is always on time with cards

Inside, some pressed leaves, real ones
Presumably from her yard,
Or somewhere down the country road
Where we all like to walk

I am in the summer of my life
And soon, I will be in the fall
Is there more I can plant before it ‘s too late?
Why have I no family to invest in for when I am old?
I sit in specification review meetings all week
And silently ask myself repeatedly
Is this what you wanted to do with your life?
You are in the prime of your life!
This is your life!
You will never get this day back.

I must reach inward again and move
Toward the dreams of my heart
What sorrows, what sins lay unresolved?
What guilt, what hatred that should be brought to light?
There is no more time to palliate wounds
With potato chips and television

Unless that is what I want to say with my life
That life is too hard, and the best you can do
Is strive not be poor, or out on the street
That living a noble life
Is for those who are lucky
Who started on the right track earlier.

I may never reach the heights of some
But I can reach the heights of peace,
And usefulness, and some level of love
If I try. If I try.
God help me to try.