They resemble rumpled leaves

gone brown and brittle

under a tired maple


I have not been a dishwasher

in a restaurant kitchen,

a picker of fruit, a logger,

a sun baked reader of suspense novels


A finger on one hand,

bent by arthritis,

now turns sideways;

the other hand darkened

by a kitchen fire


I don’t know what a charlatan

might divine about where the maps

of my palms will lead


Only that the sticks of my hands,

like the barren trees of autumn,

show me winter is near


I can almost touch it