We lie under chestnut trees to feel the crunch
Of red and gold. The leaves’ last sighs pile high
And can’t be teased from messy hair. We fight,
Throw fist-fulls that float off, then launch
From the first branch with squeeze-tight hands. A pair
Of pirate-divers search for forest pearls
In urchin shells: hidden in moss, in fern furled
Tight, stems droopy from the frost. The games and dares
End. Maturity calls from the back door.
I go up the steps with you tucked in my coat
And the flames of a sunk-sun October
Behind us. We can’t return. You can’t go out:
I prop you on the window ledge so you can see
The squirrels play under the chestnut trees.