by Alinda Dickinson Wasner

At the edge of the woods today
I catch the maples and the sumac
in flagrante delicto
going at it right out here in the open
in front of God
and the red October sun–
who would not want to watch?

And so I stand, transfixed,
stunned by a sudden memory
from the ancient past:
how the flick of a lover’s tongue
once set me all on fire
made me throw caution to the wind.

“Whatever you do, just don’t
be seen together,” our best friends warned–
But wasn’t that exactly what we wanted?
The deliciousness of the dare?
the flaunting of the forbidden?
as if there was no way
either of us could have predicted
that the last leaf
would be ripped from the branch
by a jealous wind,
that separately
we’d have to endure
the rage of a cold November?

And yet, come May
there will be no dearth
of innocent young green things
out here on the forest floor
opening themselves
leaf by leaf in front of us
as if to tempt us
once again–
into forgetting.

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Copyright Alinda Dickinson Wasner. All rights reserved.

 

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