One of the consolations of Autumn is the glorious colour of a Maple. Last year, the display was a brief one in my garden - the leaves on my tree had barely turned red before they fell as one, overnight. It was a shock to come down to breakfast and see such a change in my elegant friend - the tree was bare, twiggy and forlorn where, only the day before, it had been demurely beautiful.
I was struck immediately by the metaphor that Nature was handing me for describing how I felt about Mum's rapid fall, and I've been working on a poem to capture and preserve that moment ever since. It may not be quite there yet, but since I've added it to my poetry blog Losing My Grip, I've decided it has a home here, too.
I'm not sure if the effect works, but I'm trying to capture the moment of epiphany I had. I start off ostensibly talking about a tree but, by the fourth line, I hope the reader understands that the subject is in fact a person. The title has been "Maple" and "Fall" before (I liked "Fall" very much), but I've reverted to "Mother" for now, to clarify what I'm doing. Writing down "At a stroke" gave me goose-bumps.
I awake to find a stranger in my yard.
The maple is naked, stooped in frame,
Bent over tumbled leaves spread below,
Like the jumbled paperwork on her table.
At a stroke, she has lost all vanity,
Stands bedraggled, gaunt and vague,
Unable to account for yesterday.
Oblivious to my pity,