Patricia Wallace Jones

The Pick-up Artist in Spring

by Clay Stockton

To love that well which thou must leave ere long
Sums up the romance thing if you believe,
As some do, that the yellow leaves do hang
To leave no doubt that loving means to grieve:

One always leaves. Some stay for just a week —
Spring break, perhaps — but sometimes leaving takes
A lifetime: two, in fact. The browned leaves seek
Relief on the ground, then in; the yellow shakes.

Against the cold? Not quite. Against the leaves’
Last lingering green, the spring that cleaves to them
Even as autumn’s leave-taking bereaves
Their branches, leaving hope no cold can stem.

So, leaving first is the best choice you have.
And leave that well which soon enough you’d love.