When Another One of the Old Ones Leaves

In Memory of Katherine

Every year another one of the old ones leaves.
One day they’re there on the porch….
Suddenly another one goes and I feel
Absence moving as shadow across field of vision,
Perhaps a glimpse of someone walking over the hill
Often without having chance to bid good-bye,
Leaving me more alone with particular private
Grief, tucked as a small, smooth stone into the
 Darkness of a pocket.
I’m not sure what time of day it is for me,
How close the hour when dusk gathers
Long shadows stretching, unadorned
Along this country road that leads, I hope,
To another road beyond the hills and, I hope,
Eventually down to the western sea.
After storms, I sometimes see seagulls
Blown many miles inland, watch them carefully
In the silence that yawns after departing gale.
There’s never a flock, at best two or three
Screeching in confusion, as though
Suddenly lost in a strange world.
Staring into the bare branches of trees
Where birds are huddled against
Invisible fear, I watch my thoughts walk past,
Wondering how it will be.


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