I am thinking how the leaves fall
but I never see them until they are a gathered pool
at the base of a tree-
like the very second a waterfall
a moment we will never see until it is finished,
the once-lively ripples silenced, halted
in a frozen pose meant for winter’s camera.
We search for moments of transition,
classifying out lives like meticulous students,
highlighting significant memories
to make them less intimidating.
A skeleton of a dark roller coaster
finally exposed in the light
reduces its terrifying twists and turns
from an unknown beast
to make a structure of steel and bolts.
Perhaps what changes us forever
is a gradual process,
profound and unnoticeable
as the decay of a tree
or the rusting of a child’s forgotten bicycle
left exposed under the wooden deck,
until one day the emptiness is not as severe,
your voice a consuming symphony reduced to one note
played occasionally as mere sentiment
and I can smooth the bed covers with confident hands,
drift like snow into dream.
—> First published in The Homestead Review, Spring 2001
© 1998-2010 Tara Laskowski