READ A POEM
I Caught This Leaf for You Today, 10/8/01
by Dan Rourke
I caught this leaf for you today
My fellow fall fawner.
I should say it was given to me.
On this fully realized October diamond day
With many fallen but no falling leaves,
It wrinkled down to me, a gift,
As I thought of you.
I merely accepted it
Like change from a divine cashier—
The residuals for my efforts
To + and articulate.
It’s a leaf battered and discolored
Like my older life, clipped and stained.
Accept it, though, as a letter from
This stunning unsaddened day of mine
When thoughts are fresh as the cool air
And bright as the light through trees upon water.
Light that makes Van Gogh the greatest realist ever.
Thoughts of peace and gratitude and beauty and God
And a serendipity that smiles at dog-shitted shoes;
Thoughts aimed at articulating for you
This October day’s glowing glory.
So coddle and breathe this leaf and
See the unknown colors of leaves and
Ducks arrowed on concrete and
A random checkered dish cloth
Draped on dark drying mud and
Feel the warmth of solid-colored cotton clothes
Colliding with cool air.
Know my empathy, Anne.
“I Caught This Leaf for You Today, 10/8/01” by Dan Rourke. Copyright Dan Rourke, 2018. Used by permission of the author.
has been reading poetry throughout the Cleveland area for more than 25 years. His poems have been published in The Listening Eye
, The North Carolina Literary Review
and Elysian Fields Quarterly
. He also self-published a chapbook, Catch Me
. He was awarded a Community Partnership for Arts and Culture Creative Workforce Fellowship in 2014. He has written four novels and had essays published by The Plain Dealer
. His abandoned blog
is still up and always good for a few chuckles. A former high school English teacher, magazine editor and bookseller, Rourke currently is a client help specialist at the Greater Cleveland Food Bank.
WRITE A POEM
Take one of your poems and, in three places, insert a parenthetical comment about the poem or your writing process, like “(I’m getting near the end here)” or this example from a Brenda Hillman poem: “(agonized/ by the glazed multitude/ of unusable lines—).”