In other years I would say, how pretty they are,
The cherries outside our house.
This autumn I see the first leaves
Writhe from the green into the yellow and
From the yellow into what seems a frantic red
Before they corkscrew to their conclusion
When the morning wipers scrape them from the windscreens
To drop them in the dog shit on the pavement.
Their beauty has not brought them mercy.
The cherry flaunting first and shedding fastest
Flies a few prayer flags in tatters.
When the time is ripe (soon now)
The metronomic moon on cue will let slip
The north wind to bite the branches bare and
Lay out the bony tree against the back-lit tombgrey sky.
In other years I would say, how lucky we are,
The people inside our house.
But the luck has not brought us mercy.