reluctance

seems every corner these days,
yellow reluctance hangs from the trees

but can you maybe see the small promise
in the perchance-forgetfulness
of coming wintry rimes

where we might biding sleep
’til wakened by warmer times

© Sarah Whiteley

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holding on

fall leaves

listing off on my walk
the names of the trees
whose leaves are holding on
just a little too long –

what was golden now
giving way to brown,
tattered things that cling
complaining in the wind

there is an art, I think,
to holding on, to letting
go – and an impatience
for things which shouldn’t

but have lingered past
their welcome – strange
how we are perhaps more
enamored by the things

that rightly fall away
than by those that fight
another day to stay

© Sarah Whiteley

a remedy for wistful

I could watch (have watched)
that pine for hours
and the purple sand cherry –
currently slowly balding

seeing the yellowing
of the locust leaves
always makes me feel
just a little bit wistful

leaves that in a few weeks
will blow away to wherever,
leaving me here with
an unending view of rain

of streetlights and drainpipes
and that black shadow pine –
sometimes with crow,
but oftentimes no

hot tea, a splash of whiskey,
open window, open book –
a secret home remedy
for wistful

© Sarah Whiteley

I swear I’m really not feeling this melancholy – I love the fall. I think this is in part due to lack of sleep! Two nights in a row with almost none – perhaps hot tea with whiskey is a remedy for that as well?

spring walk, 6 a.m.

this is the moment
when I am unearthed,
when I am at last unbound
by mundane constraints –

now, when the birds
at their riotous best,
launch their relief that yes,
day again brings light

in a canon shared by wrens
and robins and flitting juncos
from trees whose slow buds
are indecently near to bursting

now, when the still low sun
lifts slowly above the hill,
when light is burnished pink
and leaf-filtered

here I am both more and less
myself than at any other moment
and piercingly in love
with every greening tree

© Sarah Whiteley

remembering in October

mine is not a life without sky
but like a pebble pocketed
and half forgotten
my fingers will brush
the cool smoothness of you
and be startled into sadness
for the space of a long heartbeat
or a breath lightly held
before moving on beneath
the sighing lull of yellowing trees
mine is not a life without sky
though there are times
I can feel the edges of it
following along beside
wearing your scent,
carrying your sound,
and casting our words
to the leaves at my feet

© Sarah Whiteley