CALGARY — This September, as children leave their summer games to return to school, and their parents begin to reluctantly don winter sweaters, the leaves outside the window of local poet Thom Murray can’t help but turn their minds to the 55-year old’s inevitable mortality.
“I’ve watched this poet shift with the seasons for decades now—and this year it feels the same, yet somehow different,” said the leaves. “He flourishes in the summer, the beard twining its way down his neck like vibrant underbrush as thick and grey as moss, to fall away and be swept up in the breeze only when the poet returns to that job at the college in September.”
The leaves added, “But this summer, his whiskers have turned white and brittle by–could it be? The first of August. And looking down to his bench below, I see the bookmark in that Wallace Stephens anthology moving slowly but surely towards the end.”
The leaves also wistfully recounted a small white bird as it landed among the poet for an instant, only to fly away into the clouds, as well as feeling a momentary shiver in the twilight as they watched the poet’s bedroom light turn out last evening.
“This poet has been here so long–just think of the things it’s seen come and go,” mused the leaves. “It reminds you to treasure every moment you have.”
“When spring comes this year, and that bird lays a clutch of eggs on top of me, this time it won’t be an inconvenience—it will be a beautiful privilege.”
At press time, the leaves were savoring one last sip of afternoon light as the wind began to tug ever so gently at their stems.