Walking around the edge of the forest, Leafman, the rustling, shifting, shimmering
shadow of golden flattened teardrops, looks with acorn
eyes at the house, then swirls behind an oak trunk, shakes willow hair
to the wind, losing long lazy loops to the wind, the
wind carrying the willow wisps across the field to the boy, who's bouncing
an orange tennis ball on a slate flagstone and
here comes a swarm of willow whirls, dancing through the sky, the
gray marble sky, the hoo! - shake and grab -
your - collar sky, and boy -- ball -- leaves -- boy -- ball -- leaves -- and --
shh shh SHH SHH -- the willow leaves are all
around the boy, a zephyr surrounding him with wiggley willow
leaves, wafting under his arms, inside
his canvas converse all - star sneaks, tickling the boy,
setting him squirming on the grass,
laughing while the Leafman watches, flurries
once around the oak, a dozy-do of
cruching maple orange, a twist of twigs, dancing,
chancing advancing to a lone
sapling vantage, no longer on the forest exactly,
more in the field, behind a little
pioneer, and here, Leafman, the exuberant ecstasy
of laughing lemon obelisks,
is risking discovery, but the boy is still
swirly-headed, wobbly-legged,
all where's-the-ball? and oh. Picks it up,
looks at the forest,
looks at the field, looks at the brazen
sapling, Leafman, for
this moment in his eternal existence,
rising, spinning
a crispy "Halloooo..." at the boy
before swishing back
into hiding, back into the dark, deep
of the woods, and
the boy wipes his eyes, wonders,
ponders, wonders
if he saw another being, another
living presence
on the planet, leaving Leafman
to wonder,
ponder, wonder if this year this
fall, the
boy will have some sub or super-
inkling to jump in the leaves
he rakes,
to throw them in the air
and chase
them maybe just maybe,
this year, this fall, just maybe,
instead of doing like Dad, instead
of burning them, instead of
burning the fall leaves this year.