Must Dogwood buds that sprang from April’s warmth,
break loose and fall;
The work of June: this twisted twig sloughed off
at Autumn’s call?

Must cranes cry out at night when blades of green
succumb to brown;
And thirsty swamps sustain a broken mass
of reeds, bent down?

Must Sockeye leave the freedom of the sea
to swim upstream,
And waste their flesh on unknown gravel bars,
where ravens scream?

Must summer end?

Today there blew across my path
a yellowed leaf.
September takes her gong and fills the sky
with throbs of grief!

If summer ends . . .

I too shall slip away, as sap flows back

Into the tree.

I lose my hold . . .

Descend to rest.

This borrowed spirit ebbs—

Returns to Thee.


Kyle Lehman is a teacher and poet who loves to watch things grow, like seeds, strange ideas, hay bales, and the moon.


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