I got home one day in this first week of Autumn to find awaiting me the complete poems of Robert Frost (conveniently, bound in one volume) which turned out to be my Christmas present from Ben. We are reading through them one at a time, and this one, “A late walk,” was one of the first we read. I chose it today because of the resonance of a gift carried and a fallen leaf.
When I go up through the mowing field,
The headless aftermath,
Smooth-laid like thatch with the heavy dew,
Half closes the garden path.
And when I come to the garden ground,
The whir of sober birds
Up from the tangle of withered weeds
Is sadder than any words.
A tree beside the wall stands bare,
But a leaf that lingered brown,
Disturbed, I doubt not, by my thought,
Comes softly rattling down.
I end not far from my going forth
By picking the faded blue
Of the last remaining aster flower
To carry again to you.