Grace and Peace to you.
Great trees, towering clouds.
“Look, Teacher, what large stones, what great buildings!”
The leaves are all falling, the clouds passing away
in great cities, among large buildings.
Not one stone will be left on another.
The wind gathers and scatters the leaves,
they huddle in corners and windrows.
What would you do, if only for a season?
I rake leaves, I turn the compost.
The towering prayers of the saints,
the great faith of the people I admire,
the lives of those I love,
they tumble and blow.
My great deeds and mistakes,
the stones of my flesh,
it all will be thrown down.
Under a tree now bare, in North Dakota,
under a showering of leaves,
is a grave for me, my wife,
our sons and their mates.
The beginnings of the birthpangs.
When will this all be?
There will be wars and rumors of wars.
Leaders come and go, markets and rise and fall.
Papers gathered and scattered by the wind.
Many will come and say, “This is it!”
The oak by the road holds its leaves into March.
Don’t be alarmed.
Look at the trees who believe in winter,
the buds hardening under their coats.
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