When you leave, I‘ll know.
Time will take a deep breath
and the cloud cover that masked the light
will tear open wide
to set free a sunbeam
as your last salute.

When you leave, I ‘ll know.
You will sweep through the tree tops
and whisper nameless words
that only time can teach me
and then you will send the migrants
on their journey.

When you leave, I’ll know.
The last colored leaf will fall
from the last autumnal trunk
and with it the whole world will go to sleep,
and rest for an entire winter.

And as it arises, months from today,
when heat recurs
to caress my neck,
when crocuses and snowdrops blossom again
and the birds find their way
back to our grounds,

you’ll be among them,
invisible, but tangible,
silent, but present,
different, but smiling.
And I’ll know that you have never left.