By Annette Marie Hyder

When I think of you I don’t think of leaves spinning
like ballerinas in the air
on their way down to the ground
having let go of whip thin branch
and wearing brilliant colors,
so beautiful a compensation,
for what they must portend.
I am not ready to see you in gold and red
(it is not your season yet)
when green is so fresh
and is the way I always picture you —
new and bright and trembling,
shaking in perfect synchronicity
with me.
We whispered the moon down.
We made a susurration for the stars.
We told each other that when the time came
to let go of our branch
we would hold hands and jump with joy.
But now this, the possibility
that you might jump before me
has me thinking of all the ways
that I can keep you, in gratitude,
in the forest of my heart
and listen any time the wind of your spirit
blows through me
chiming all the leaves within your touch.