The woman downstairs calls the leaf awful.
She says it was trying to get inside the door
and had stuck itself to the door frame.
It was as if the leaf, not unhandsome
with its speckles of red, yellow, orange,
had an attitude problem. She repeats
awful full of disgust, as if this leaf
should not exist at all, and most likely
any fragment of stem, nut, bark, seed
also tenacious in its presumption to belong
would be awful too. I find myself picking up
the leaf like a lost kitten and returning it
to the garden … there you go … as I let it
get on with its cycle of decay, always
its plan before the door got in the way.