If it were the falling leaves alone

If it were the falling leaves alone

By: Cristina Santamaría Graff

October 21, 2017


If it were the falling leaves alone

I would surrender to the Earth’s changing hues and landscape,


I would indulge completely.

Heaps of oranges, yellows, and reds,

a shuffleboard of color underneath my girls’ curious feet –

swish, swish, whoosh!

I would delight in their laughter,

bellies, arms, and legs spreading and closing like crabs

scurrying along the shoreline.


But Fall is melancholia,

personified in brilliance and demise.


It is the opening of a door,

like the sun’s evening rays spilling in between tree branches,

joyful and full of promise:

Upside down at four at Nibley park,


The evening sun tickling my closed eyes with a prickling yellow glow.

The colors under my eyelids, dancing.

The pungent grass and oak cross-pollinating the air.

Mom is smiling, hugging her sweater, cheeks pink against the sun.

Her eyes bright.


Fall is this.

But more. 


The permanent closing sign of a beloved café,

where you met your lover in secret and scratched your initials surreptitiously

on the far, back table.

Your Grandfather calling you, “Peanut,” and handing you buttered toast as the

October light filled the breakfast room.

The heartbreak of a child realizing

a happy moment of life

has just passed,

never to repeat itself again.


I embrace Fall like the prodigal son,

the return, each year,

both painful and hopeful.

Never knowing, always guessing

what’s around the corner.



One thought on “If it were the falling leaves alone

  • I’ve always loved your poetry Cristina. Your memories written into images depict the vibrancy of autumn leaves. Each memory is a slow motion falling autumn leaf capturing the eyes’ attention.



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