A capricious eviction

in autumn’s overture
a freak breeze
a crossdraft, close to the ground
slides the solitary oak leaf,
brown and curled,
along the dampish grey sidewalk

and I, stewing in sophomore thoughts,
am waywardly drawn to this
wanting to mummify the moment
to get clean of the unclean
to idolize this blameless thing
this memory of a hand
or of a shelter with many entrances

so, fool that I am,
out comes my pocket camera
I kneel, the breeze on my knees
don’t move.  don’t move!

but, at the moment of button pressing,
before the thought becomes the action,
upended is the leaf
a sail unfurling, carried afar
but leaving a tenant now

a surprised, evicted caterpillar
all stripy, hairy, spiny
and I imagine it perhaps feels
like a skinny old man
who has accidentally dropped his towel in the sauna

I put my finger flat beside him
a bridge to somewhere?
in a slow spiral, I feel
the nibbling of a hundred tiny feet
as he curls around the heat
and heads for the shelter of the sleeve

yes, okay, I will take you home, buddy
put you into that empty aquarium
vacated by my lonely goldfish
mulch you some leaves
humidify your room

what will happen next?

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