and ash leaves, still green,
down, like parachutes
that make quick
drops of ammunition.
They lay like emeralds on a thin
dust of early snow,
that coats the deck white, drapes
the open umbrella,
blankets the garden chairs.
We think we know when things are supposed
to happen, bemoan the unseasonable frost,
presume spring is late,
proclaim the baby came too early.
The ash leaves line the patio lounge chairs
of young soldiers fallen early,
without winter boots,
lying there dressed in khaki –
not even thinking of winter –
like sandals, still strewn on the entryway
floor, and closets
still full of empty summer jackets.