Poet's showcase

Sunday, November 14, 2004

Natural Law

By Priscilla S. McKinney

With leaves still falling, I spend much of the season

in work or exercise I see as process, not completion.

I rake leaves red and gold from maples of my own,

dried elm and redbud curls until the shedding's done.

But unconfined and blown, they search out other space,

next door, across the street, wherever they can reach.

Leaves of neighbors, too, tough sycamore and bark,

shiny pear and walnut wands, blow all around my yard.

Helga's son next door bags leaves that cross my line,

and I rake spiky leaves from oaks at Emerson's.

Though we visit rarely or in passing through the year,

autumn brings us out together to collect the leaves we share.

Spring's own green abundance follows winter's chill;

summer's heat radiates; random snowflakes cover all.

But nature's lesson of distributive justice --

random, abundant, universal -- is best made in the fall.

-- Priscilla S. McKinney teaches literature and composition at Kansas University. Poet's Showcase features work by area poets. Submit your poetry via e-mail with a subject line of Poet's Showcase to mpaget@ljworld.com or send typewritten (not handwritten) submissions to Mindie Paget, 645 N.H., Lawrence 66044, attn: Poet's Showcase. Teen writers should submit their work to the 18 & Under page at teens@ljworld.com.