The Last Leaf

First published in Frogpond 13:1, February 1990. This was the first time for me to be published in Frogpond, as shown here. My original intent was for these poems to make a leaf shape, so I had wanted the first poem to be about half an inch further to the right and for there to be more space after the title, but the original appearance is pretty close to my intent. The “empty swings” verse also appeared in After Shock (San Francisco: Two Autumns Press, 1990). The entire sequence later appeared in Tremors (Foster City, California: Press Here, 1990). See the Press Here page for the book where this sequence appears. See an Italian translation of this sequence by Lucia Fontana. See also my “Holes in the Awning” haibun.

after the quake

      the weathervane

            pointing to earth



autumn sun

amid the rubble

quaking aspen



after the quake

candlelight dinner




tripping on the flashlight

in the dark



another victim—

laying the body bag

on the flower bed




empty swings





the last leaf