The fate of a single alder leaf
might have been sealed
Long before the tree.
Is less about early afternoon breezes.
More about lingering mornings,
Not yet ripe and flavored
With neatly packaged memories of summer.
This leaf floats through air
not yet lacquered in winter,
But stained with the patina of a mid-day sun
That hides swimming holes and watermelons.
This is time for one more earful of cricket song,
Stinging mosquito bite.
Where the leaf lands,
tastes of dust in cool woods.
Creeks move in tiny whispers here,
If they haven’t gone forgotten.