Joyce E. Young


There are tender places
that are sometimes wounds,
soft, like an underbelly.

Like the front of the body that retreats,
led by the buttocks, covered by the
arms in front of the solar plexus.

The arms are guarding the treasure of the body.
Its juices ripen and flow downward,
to meet the earth.

There are dried leaves,
some broken by footsteps.
Others curled serenely in gutters.

The trees are undressing slowly.
Their gold and brown robes
open, and fall to the ground.

No matter what we do, this disrobing and
our going home continue, until
we are pulled into the dark, moist dirt.

We return to the ground like the leaves,
and we are here.