the small places we come from

wind scoops handfuls of coloured
leaves and carries them up towards
the pure indigo of the maple-lit autumn;

they glow in lamplight, as the quarter-moon cuts
a triangular window across the clouds, and then
remain somewhere there,
big stones in the endless river of sky.

the small places we come from,
little more than so many nondescript dots on a map,
a point of origin, somewhere to start,
then float downstream, like salmon
on their journey to sea.

all autumn long, between the gold-covered
feet of the trees, and the little white dots that
pepper the moonlit sky,

we breathe memories, going
upstream, reversing the flight
of the first migration, singing fiercely home,

and the dead before us
flock to the path showing the way.

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