Hair the Color of Oak Leaves
He was from the urban desert of Phoenix—
a sprawl of cinder blocks, cement pools,
and perverse greens. Artificiality
invokes its namesake: the counterfeit
rising out of the not-ash-aridity.
I am from the woodlands
and what remains of them.
And all I can recall is his hair:
it was the color of oak leaves—
the dried rust of autumn.
And a boy of the desert could not have known towering oaks.
All the rest?
All the rest I have elected to forget—
no dusting of feeling lingers.
Just leaves underfoot.
Like cast-off memories, mulching, becoming ash.
Born in upstate New York, Pamela Rader was a transplant to the Rocky Mountain region where she felt at home in the open spaces and earned her Ph.D. in Comparative Literature. She currently lives in central New Jersey where she teaches literature and writing at Georgian Court University.