by Leslie Trumphour

A curled leaf launched from the hawthorn tree
twisting and hunting in mercurial fashion—
first earthward, looking for green grasses to stand in,
but then it caught in a smoky heated draft
and rose and climbed toward clearer air.

Up and up this boated leaf
that rides on cresting draft
of what destroys me—


has taken my house and the two-stall barn
and now my lower field is turning up
in spires of brassy flame.

A pouring hose lies at my feet
wetting what's left of nothing much.
Instead, I watch this striving leaf
rowing harder to outrun
the blackening march of scorch beneath.

My last leaf hovers by Hillard's pond,
I thought the lurching wind might drive it safe
but the next gust sucked instead of blew
and leaf went down
in a final, sizzling race.

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