The fall of tempered leaves
stamps itself out mid-November
like leaf-shaped arrow heads
the yellow birch my old daggers
distant memories of the ancestors
contort the gloaming wearing
cloaks as grey as your shroud
and the grey spider who hangs
above watching you departing from
the darkness without a thread.
I cannot imagine you Great Queen
as the young girl who was taken
against her will when the last leaf
fell by the hunter with the horns
and the ember-eyes headlight bright
before there were cars and cars and cars…
before with the leaves the forest fell…
before Annwn was known as Hell.
You always knew where you were going
didn’t you? Needed no thread to lead
you back to your own home in his arms?
They knew that too – our ancestors
who offered up coins minted like leaves
in fairyland where money grows on trees
and crumbles likes us to grey dust.
I have no coin the leaves in my pockets
are old and withered as grey spiders.
When my fingers are dust I shall
follow without a thread shrugging into
your shroud joining the contours
of the grey-cloaked ever-marching dead.