Poem: A Bunch of Leaves

Issue 

A Bunch of Leaves

Around my door, the oak leaves
Are tarnished bronze scales
From Etruscan armour, I can count them,
And in my arc of view,
Platoons of them wait the wind;
Looking at each of these
I think of all the East Timorese
And name each one
With a name unknown
And hear the crack of gun,
And see the combers of inferno flame
Light and burn each living name —
These are a village or two;
Next door to me the leaves
Of liquid amber and the peach tree
Reluctant let their Autumn pennants go —
Another few villages;
Picking up my paper I see
The strewn street carpeted
With twelve weeks of Autumn harvest,
Running red and brown and fading gold
Around the long perimeter road
Stashing them in cross-streets in between;
Would all of these, fallen from the trees,
Be enough to name
All the murdered East Timorese?
Denis Kevans