just look at it, he demanded.
look at how red it is
a red that I don't know how to describe
like blood, clotted angry blood
mixed with rust and slices of overripe mango
and forgotten oranges
and summer paintings that had gone dry.
to see what he sees
this exquisite beauty
as if made only for him and him alone
he stands on his tiptoes
as if wishing to grow,
just to touch it.
Do you see?
He wants me to see.
But all I see is the end of summer
changes in my life,
the schedules I am tied to,
the things I'm failing at but still trying,
death and dying
the end of things
instead of that one beautiful leaf
waiting to burn its color onto my troubled mind.
and that is really what we lose
when we leave our childhood behind.