but if pressed, I’d have to say
that fall is my favorite season,
for the brazen way the trees
decide to ditch the party line —
then flaunt their divergent views
with more colors than are nameable.Now, when independence and rebellion
spring up in the ways of my children,
I label them chronic conditions
that are terminal and incurable —
rather than natural elements
of a changeable season.
I forget that the stuff of this planet
isn’t given to remaining static:
a slim tomato seedling, the new leaves
of a tulip poplar, the unrelenting cold of winter,
even my headstrong daughters —
they’re all driven to change.Like early this morning:
we were late again, when one of the girls
flopped down on the floor, and proclaimed
that she could put shoes on her feet
without any assistance from me.
My impatience flared—like it does each year in August,
when — even after the sun has set —
the heat fails to lift, and I’m certain
that summer will plague us forever.
But then she hopped up, feet fully shod
and face lit with delight —she had done it herself.
Her stubborn persistence produced
its own change of seasons: trading
feeble dependence for dazzling power.
So she flew out the door, crowing her victory,
to revel and trample in the dry drifts of leaves.
© Sarah Dunning Park, 2012. All rights reserved. Used with permission.