To my father in absentia on his 104th birthday, November 7, 2010.
November sings a lonely tune,
A melody of melancholy and despair.
Trees sway naked in slow rhythm,
Tracing patterns in the autumn air.
So stand we all this season,
No camouflage for any lack of love,
Though longing to hide our nakedness,
With a grace pouring down from above.
But we can no more undo our past,
Than fallen leaves for all their passion,
Can leap again into the trees to cover,
Branches in their April fashion.
Summer gave us ways to touch,
But now, reaching out in vain,
There’s nothing more that we can feel,
But the chill November rain.
And yet, doesn’t April need this November?
Just as a leave-taking suits us too.
How else shed old habits and betrayals,
To make space for all that’s new?