It Can Never Be (Draft 1)

It Can Never Be

I can not rake the leaves anymore
when she will not crumble them with me

because oh God gross,
how could she be compost
as her nature would demand, and

I never understood how the
decay of Love could be recycled
when I buried her and the tree
thought of her as minerals

No, I can not give her to the trees

I want to keep her
as she was

I won’t surrender her,
won’t ever bury her, because
I will not let you take her

She can not die.

— Douglas Gilbert


11 thoughts on “It Can Never Be (Draft 1)

  1. Very good (as always), though very sad, i had that feeling that wells up behind my eyes like i was going to cry. This also leaves me feeling a bit confused, it feels like there’s a background story that I don’t know about or something? The ending has a hopeful feeling, sounds very defiantly heroic and that helps soothe the sadness of the rest of the poem.

    1. Thanks. Well, it’s a bit out of no where: I was very annoyed about a bunch of things I read about the splendor of the autumn leaves and the cycles of life and blah blah again. I don’t know but I can’t see it as noble when things die for the winter. Somehow when I found out the secret of the leaves I couldn’t see it as a good thing any more. I used to think that the leaves fell from the change of weather and the cold or daylight cycle or something benign. But it’s not like that. The tree deliberately kills the leaves by sucking out all of the nutrients and materials it can to save resources until the Spring. The shell of the leaf that it can’t absorb is the corpse of the leaf that falls. What’s supposed to happen is that it falls to the ground near the tree and the bacteria decompose the corpse so that the tree can reabsorb the minerals from the leaf when it’s broken down into new soil.
          Ooops, I didn’t see that: I have a contradiction — in one place I say “when I buried her” and then later on I say, “won’t ever bury her”. Yikes… I’ll have to make one more clearly a metaphor and the other a literal or something…. I don’t know how I missed it — I guess I did it too quickly.

      1. We usually have really pretty colors here in the fall…unless there’s a drought. I suppose it’s just one of those things that aren’t really thought about much, it’s just accepted as something that happens – in the Fall, the leaves fall. Although, if I were a tree i’d want to hang on to my leaves. You’d think it’d keep it warmer against the harsh winter winds. Oh yeah, i almost forgot, the Oak tree does hold onto its leaves all winter and then drops them all in the spring (quickly too, usually in about a day) and then grows the new ones. My parents have an Oak tree at their house that my grandpa planted right after they moved in. I kind of like the change of seasons though…it keeps me balanced in an odd way. Although I certainly wouldn’t complain if I lived in a tropical paradise (hehe).
        yeah, i think changing that ‘when’ to ‘if’ would fix that issue.

    2. Hmm, I just realized that we put a lot of our interest into the leaves much more than the whole tree. It’s sort of like the leaves are the ego of the tree. But then if there really is no such distinction then the dying of leaves is no worse than the sloughing off of dead skin cells or other cells that die and are replaced…

      1. What you said here made me think of leaves as being the tree’s hair…Maybe fall is kinda like getting a haircut. I’ve been cutting my son’s hair for about a year and a half now, i’ve gotten pretty good at it. He doesn’t like the strangers at great clips messing with his hair for some reason. But anyway, every time I cut it he wants me to shake out the towel that catches his hair in the backyard so that the birds can take his hair and use it in their nests as something soft. For a while i did it just to make him happy but oddly enough the birds really do like his hair because I saw one of them carrying off a clump of it one day…

    3. Pretty colors in the fall. It reminds me of an episode of Twilight Zone or a similar type show where they travel on a space ship to understand what the star of Bethlehem was and although they acknowledge that people on Earth saw it and did great things with their interpretation of the bright star in the sky that it actually represented the explosion of a distant sun (super nova) in far outer space that killed millions of people. It was a weird kind of subversive story that I didn’t understand and wondered how they were able to present it without much controversy. Some how in those days they could just label something as science fiction and say or imply anything. I can’t remember what it was about but there was some kind of clergy person on the space ship who asked, “How could the death of millions of people be celebrated as an inspiring light in the sky, sign of a new beginning…”

      1. I don’t think I ever saw that one…i really would like to watch a bunch of the old twilight zone shows. They really are interesting (must’ve had good writers!) even though it’s just science fiction. I mean, the article said the star exploded in the year 3120 B.C. but that it would have taken 3120 years for the light to reach earth. So pretty much their sun exploded in our year 0 B.C., it just took that long to reach us. “Their time had come, and in their passing, they passed their light on to another world.” Jesus is called ‘the light’ a lot and it’s neat the way his birth coincided with the time that their light reached Earth.

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