Autumn Leaves

The falling leaves drift by the
window. The autumn leaves
of red and gold.
Fifty years
ago, the count of a golden
anniversary you sang that
song and you loved
each other.

C’est une chanson, qui
nous ressemble. Toi tu
m’aimais et je t’aimais.

Fifty years ago, the love
was fresh. The love was
tender. Fifty years ago
the love was. You sang
these words as he played
the music. He accompanied
you and your dance until
the two of you danced

I see your lips, the summer
kisses. The sun-burned
hands I used to hold.
now I am lost. Where do I
look to, where do I turn
who will ever teach me
to love. Mais la vie
sépare ceux qui s’aiment.
Tout doucement sans
faire de bruit.
The sea
will erase the lover’s
footsteps, the sea will
erase the lover’s breath.

Since you went away, the days
grow long, and soon I’ll hear
old winter’s song. But I miss
you most of all my darling
When autumn leaves start
to fall.

This, dear friends, is another Magpie Tale. This is the true story of my parents. Early in their relationship, when they still laughed together, they took a trip to New York City. They walked by a recording studio, for a handful of coins they could record their own music. My dad played the piano, my mother sang. “Autumn Leaves” is the first song on the album they recorded together. Decades later, I stumbled upon it by accident. I listened to these songs with tears in my eyes. I had it re-mastered and pulled into the new century of digital music. I wonder how can I be nostalgic for a love I’ve never known, nor witnessed?
p.s. the lyrics are in italics, my words surround them just like their love I wished had surrounded me…



15 thoughts on “Autumn Leaves”

  1. That is an awesome story. I wish I could say I had parents like that. Sadly if my parents were to record a song to/with each other it would be like “i fucking hate you”.

    And I do love me some autumn leaves. Makes me miss living in Pennsylvania as the autumn leaves back home are awesome.


  2. It is a wonderfully haunting song. I have been listening to it since reading Berowne's post. Now I can add your parent's story to my understanding of the song. Beautifully told.


  3. This is such a great poem, and I loved the story that went with it. Both stories, actually–the one about your parents and then the one about your husband seeing the writer in you when he read it. Beautiful.


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