Shedding a few leaves early, the sycamores
have begun to turn, quit taking water,
teasing me with peeks of more alabaster flesh
at a distance—first moves before the sway
of winter’s naked dance along the creek—
sandy cobbles like rafts of human skulls now.
On my morning circle of first-calf mothers,
I check the spots where water rises first
behind the granite dikes beneath damp sand
and short-cropped green as if I might
hurry time, escape into the future cool and wet
and wait like a rabbit for tortoise to catch up.