As the mist from the river
rises half way up the
oak, he cups
his right hand and skims it
across the top,
fingers propelling through
leaves frozen on the surface.
Fighting the ice crystals as they form,
small sheets of puzzle
pieces on his fingers, he
remembers the trip made with
friends in his youth,
wine bottles passed from side to side, and
smoke thick with the pungent smell of
yesterday’s music and future conquests.
Young men craving the knowledge
their fathers owned from the war.
Now he’s the wisdom of the boys,
holding in his chest a passion
too soon gone, but still inside.
He curves his hand once more to
the water’s edge, then fanning his fingers
apart he sets free decades of touch,
the smell of rose-water,
and the quiet of his loves, and they
scatter like the remnants of fall.