Fourteen or so, one autumn afternoon,
my homework done and supper hours away,
I scuffed along on sodden paths bestrewn
with yellowed leaves in woods where I’d once played.
Perhaps it was the setting sun that grayed
the air, perhaps a sudden chill just then,
but something in my soul began to weigh
the thought I’d never be a boy again.
And now as I move through the world of men,
live by my wits and somewhat by my strength,
there nonetheless still comes the time at length,
late afternoon inside my office when
I of a sudden catch the subtle musk:
the sour smell of oak leaves in the dusk.