“New Year: September on Campus,” New Era, Oct. 1973, 51
New Year: September on Campus
Still—even poplar, even aspen—leaves,
yet green, still poised each in its place;
and yet clear, still unclouded grass.
Except in sunflower time the sunflower face
following the hours round as they pass
through the warm sunlight, nothing moves.
No sound; not even—yet—the drop of a leaf
(that distant tap at funeral pace
of winter’s drum) on hardened grass.
Each linden or willow rapt in singular grace
at the fall’s point can still outclass
its type, acknowledging no grief.
Trees yearly outlive themselves: autumn bereaves;
yet even winter can better grace,
oak, ash, or maple still surpass
their past to show next year another face.
Thus trees; but man’s each moment has
its fall, his every instant springs fresh leaves.