The falling of a leaf onto a pond is one movement
in a process composed of many movements.
It floats for a while, crisply. Then softens and sinks.
It’s funny what comes to mind. All day you think
about a woman you haven’t seen in many years.
Her soft, brown hair. The way the corners of her eyes
pulled down. It’s not that you are filled with longing
or regret. But you are filled with something.
In a dream you climb a hill on the other side of town.
It is an arduous climb. At the end you are afraid
of falling. But then you look down and realize
all the houses are exactly like the house you live in.
In the distance, the same kind of highway.
Everything is the same. It’s just on the other side.
—from Rattle #30, Winter 2008
Chris Anderson: “This poem came to me exactly the way I describe the leaf falling. I misread a realtor’s sign, and that became the title. I’d been thinking about an old friend. When I saw the leaf hit the pond, the first three lines just appeared—and then I remembered the dream, as I was writing. It was all just given to me. I’m not even sure what the poem means exactly, which is what I love about writing sometimes: that you don’t write the poem, the poem writes you.” (web)