I’m not talking to you any more.

 

Since I saw the maple leaf fragment

scraped off your boot onto

the bedroom carpet,

jagged as the voice of the boy in the cowboy boots

and not yet turned red as the deer’s fresh blood against December snow,

I have known.

 

And when I saw more scraps of maple parchment

shaken out of the crenellations from that boot’s work sole onto

the parquet floor leading down the hall,

a trail of autumn

from the crackling world

where you rake the leaves out to October’s street,

I have known.

Yes, you tracked in

the maple catkins six months ago,

and my hands blossomed against your denim sleeve.

But I won’t talk to you any more.

I am closing the door now.

 

Let the maples shout their scarlet letters next month.

Better not to share them this time round.

Better to stop before the words are all

deciduous leaves.  I have always known

what I told myself was true:

 

with you it’s a cycle, never

reciprocity.

 

 

 

wakoskiIn 1989 Diane Wakoski’s selected poems, Emerald Ice, won the William Carlos Williams prize from the PSA.  The most recent of her more than 20 collections of poetry, Bay of Angels, was published fall, 2013 by Anhinga Press, which also published The Diamond Dog in 2010.  Now retired, Wakoski was Poet In Residence and University Distinguished Professor at Michigan State University 1975-2012.

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