Maybe this October sun
will torch the asters, the swamp maples.
Maybe rain long overdue
will extinguish them.
The tourist economy all depends.
A foliage-walk beside Squam Lake:
my jaunty wave and friendly smile
to a child wandering the beach.
She retreats with stricken look, reports
my forwardness to an unseen mom:
maybe I’m safe, maybe not.
Maybe Mother and Father watched
from their West Hartford window,
waiting to see if I would be born
before every leaf had changed—
and are waiting yet, in blessed ground;
only now for the stained-glass leaves
that fall on their plots to announce
the resurrection of the dead,
and mitigate earth burial.
Pastor promised this morning is true.
Even Pastor doesn’t know for sure.