i do not know how you went out of my life
or when exactly. the leaves of the norway maple
are beginning to turn yellow, fall has come.
i last saw you on an evening at the end of july
but i think you were already gone then,
i think by then you had been gone for a long time.
and so it seems meaningless to count the days
yet still i count them, august, september,
october now half over, terrible days,
and i do not know where you are
or when i may have news of you again.
but i remember as if yesterday the day
you came out of my body into this world,
a fine splash in full midsummer, a small cry
like the meow of a siamese cat,
your eyes wide open and looking all around;
remember how in the early hours of that morning,
before you arrived, i heard pass down our street
(as i had heard each morning that summer
of my thirtieth year) the clopping sound
of a lone horse pulling a calèche,
his sleepy driver bound for the road
that climbs mount royal’s slope.
no one can take away that morning
or the exactness of its place in time.
i go there often.
i visit it like a temple.