Leaf tornadoes whirl in funnels
shuffling fronds like playing cards,
I watch ragged edges tumble
into scattered mosaic shards.
But Momma wants the whole yard raked,
says all those leaves will kill the grass.
Let them mulch, is the road I’d take,
But I know not to give her sass.
Begrudgingly, I scrape dead leaves,
stacking leaf-fall for a pyre.
Now I want to do as I please
of work, I have come to tire.
I want to thrash among leaf-waves.
Fling myself into autumn swell,
but Momma sets it all ablaze,
casting for me another spell.
Hypnotized by crack and sizzle,
rapt by irisated blaze,
I embrace the gray baptismal
of acrid tendrils of thick haze.
I stir the bewitching bier,
flinging ashes like fairy dust,
unconscious of spreading fire
until I hear my Momma fuss.
She sprays water. Shames my fancy.
It’s a wonder your head’s not lost.
Smoke spreads a thin transparency
glazing the grass like morning frost.
Natalie Kimbell is a mother of two, and a grandmother of four. She works as a teacher of English, creative theater, and creative writing at her high school alma mater. Releasing her work only recently, she achieved third place in the 2018 George Scarborough Prize, second place in the 2019 Tennessee Mountain Writers Humor Category and second place in poetry for the Chattanooga Writers’ Guild 2020 Contest. Her poetry is published in The 2019 Chattanooga Writers’ Guild Anthology, The 2020 Garfield Lake Review, The 2020 Chattanooga Writers’ Guild Anthology, and the Anthology of Appalachian Writers, Volume XIII, Dorothy Allison.
Image credit: The image of falling maple leaves is a still from YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R7pfCkw6Mbw (Photographer unknown)