A gray leaf enshrouds the earth.
I think of how the rain shifts eastward
into Carolina, how the clouds siphon highways
of any least shadow. Where is my father but on the moss-
ridden hill of his yard, the leaves still clinging
to summer’s last pulse? Where is my mother
but caught in her panic, the foothills
of north Georgia crashing into each other
with a slowness that belies the season’s contrition,
to destroy the green summer always commands?
Beneath us, the earth roils; smoke plumes
from sea-depths where soft, pale creatures,
forever severed of color and light, click, stumble
to find some solace in all that dark.