The autumn leaves I wish were mine today
but I’m unable access them
for the trees where I now live
do not deposit annual gifts of beauty
beneath their boughs.

And so I have to take two paths for my indulgence:
photographs are one of them – the other: memory.

Some years ago I raked a pile of leaves so great
it seems in retrospect to be the greatest one I ever made.

And added to the pleasure of my swinging rake
whose sound I now so easily engage
is the body of a little dog ploughing through the grisp remains –
a white, long-haired creature who brought his joy to mine.

Nostalgia offers happiness, and yet its presence offers sadness, too.

The past is really over even though it clings to us
when we employ the gifts that recreate our yesterdays.

Russ Peery Sept. 2018

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