Reading Orange Leaves
    by Douglas Gilbert

I have the hunger and growl of the bear,
but I don’t look kindly at the winter.

She was reading in the park
with a glance to the autumn sky
as she turned a page, barely noticing anything

I watched a turned leaf fly that windy dappled day
and it hit her in the head. I said
are you OK because
even such a gentle thing as a leaf
startled her, and she said

I’m just reading in autumn, but then
many leaves landed like bookmarks, and in the pause
autumn made her look up at me as
I helped her clean her book:
leaves in the leaves, a little silly

It was glorious as if laughter were a future,
and as if for the winter
she would hibernate with the bear.

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