The bright yellow box full of children
Moves through the morning
Gathering in the smiles,
The warm hands.
Each carries our love
Wrapped in wax paper,
Carefully hoarded till noon.
How little we know
Of the mystery dwelling within them,
Of what is beginning to grow.
Know only that we must send them
Out to wait by the mail box,
Up the steps into the bus --
Trusting life's unpredictable afternoon
To bring them back to us.
Barking and calling courage to each other,
The singing skein sweeps south across the sky.
We hear their legendary cry
Saying goodbye to summer swamps and sweetness.
They know some ancient mystery of weather,
Of daring and of caring for each other,
Which we have lost.
Shrouded in sheets and city streets,
Our stifled hearts half waken at their sound.
Something within us trembles, flaps its wings,
Falls back against the ground.
We dress for breakfast, start the daily round
And wonder, why we must know only fenced yards,
And shelled corn, until we die?
Why did you die in autumn,
The first frost
And covering my heart?
I need your warmth, my love!
The trees drop sadness.
I am a barren branch
Against a bitter sky.
Why did you die?