Now the time of year has come for the leaves to be burning.
October, and the month fills me with grief
For the girl who used to run with the black dogs through them,
Singing, before they burned. Light as a leaf
Her heart, and her mouth red as the sumac turning.
Oh, girl, come back to tell them with your bell-like singing
That you are this figure who stands alone, watching the dead leaves burn.
(The wind is high in the trees, and the clang of bluejay voices ringing
Turns the air to metal. This is not a month for anyone who grieves.)
For they would say that a witch had passed in fury if I should turn,
Gray-haired and brooding, and run now as I once ran through the leaves.