Upon Trembling Awake on a Clear Fall Day

Clear Fall DayDo you remember how old you were
First time you stood on a clear fall day, gazing into distance,
Body trembling, pulse pounding as you realized
Falling leaves were a harbinger of death?
 
Perhaps you laughed or felt chills run down your back,
Palms sweaty as you became aware of the smells of autumn.
You stood there in silent envy of the hawk soaring over the hills….
Leaves blowing from branches in the chill air.
 
In the fading of afternoon light, you fought against morbid thoughts.
Acutely aware of how much you loved life,
You hated the disgrace of the reality of death,
Considered an argument that with you, absolutely never the case.
 
You heard the breaking of glass, or shattering of illusion,
Knew in the inevitable and relentless passage of coming seasons
You would know darkness and grief.
Feeling older by the minute, you suddenly felt unwashed.
 
Perhaps you were five or seven or ten years old.
Maybe you’ve forgotten it all because of the fear, the pain,
The cold shock as you linked the dots roaming before your eyes,
Searched for comforting words to stop the screaming.
 
If you’d been twenty-one, you would have gone to the pub,
Asked for brandy, already wearing wrinkles of loss on your face.
Perhaps you’d want to bed the girl across the bar,
Her wet lips and instant tits a warm coat against approaching winter.
 
Almost no one simply hangs his head and cries,
Though I’m not quite sure I know why not,
As the sour abuse of clarity slowly settles upon the mind….
 A voice says, “Be a man!  Get a grip!”  Shame becomes a buffer to fear.
 
I can only thank God that autumn days are so beautiful,
Until the sun goes down and the chill is felt upon the naked skin.
Perhaps clouds gather as shoulders upon the hills,
Tired eyes half-closed against the short hours remaining of the day.

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