The speaker reflects on the season and the drifting leaves. She alludes to how the foliage was once used in Hellenic or Roman times. Either utilized as parchment for prophecies or taken as a drug-like inducement for meditation, she reveres the influence they had and will always have on the human mind.
After reviewing their past purpose, she concludes that the dogwood leaves on her own tree evoke memory. They are shriveled like the insoles of high heels she stores in her closet. She no longer wears these shoes but keeps them as a memorable souvenir. She recalls the time she walked over a bridge with her husband wearing stilettos and holding his hand. His fingers were still sensitive, not chilled by frost or a fading relationship. He squeezed her hand to reaffirm how beautiful the day was and how nature understood their human closeness through the bonding of a sea gull's wing with the sky, a boat's wood with the water. It was a gesture she would never forget and keep recalling with the approach of Fall, with the slow dwindling of warmth and the brief, flaming intensity of leaves.