Who knows when leaves learn to dance,
tethered in place for most of their days
and why they want to, now, at the end.
A pas de deux: partners in shades of gold spin
and lift, float each other above the walk, then end, posed
dramatically against the curb. Waltzes in the flower bed,
polkas by the bike rack. In the car park they square dance,
following a manic caller’s frantic pace. Double time,
faster, falling over each other in a bright patchwork pile-up
when they can’t keep up. After dark they rest, sort
themselves out. Cling to each other in morning dew.
They start each day with a Grand Promenade. Orderly.
Then they’re at it again: honor your corner, allemande left
and do-se-do. All afternoon in autumn’s bluster.
In the alley a conga line forms—-ready to strut
down Main Street like there’s no tomorrow.
Lynn Pattison’s poems have appeared in The Notre Dame Review, Rhino, Harpur Palate, Primavera, Rattle and The Atlanta Review, among others, her work has been included in several anthologies (The most recent being The Cento: a Collection of Collage Poems,edited by Theresa Malphrus Welford).
She is the author of two chapbooks: tesla’s daughter (March St. Press); Walking Back the Cat (Bright Hill Press) and a book, Light That Sounds Like Breaking (Mayapple Press). She lives and writes in Michigan.