LEAVING - Deborah Pope (Mortal World, LSU Press, 1995) I was waiting for you at the end of the long gravel road that wound through the woods, the house barely visible back in the trees, two windows lit and balancing November’s early dark. Walking out, I had watched a sky turning from bone to ash to black. I had money and night things stuffed in my bag, I hoped you would see me in the headlights. A soft rain began. It fell on the shoulders of my upturned coat, wet my face, my hair, I could hear it falling through the tough, hard oaks and beeches, the late autumn leaves still stubborn on the trees, sounding like birdshot, or grains of sand steadily, finely pouring. And I thought suddenly how I wanted to forget you, forget everything, that moment go utterly blank, so that I could come back and remember it all from the start to that waiting, alone in the fresh, cold night and the rain ticking, ticking.