Poem Written the Day After My Father-in-Law Passed Away

POEM WRITTEN THE DAY AFTER MY FATHER-IN-LAW PASSED AWAY

As if with a final burst of energy,
the maple dropped its leaves,
covering the yard in a blanket
of yellow and brown.

I cleaned them up
when I mowed the grass,
the chopped leaves and clippings
added to the compost
to mulch next year’s garden.

The annual cycle:
Science explains each stage,
and yet, the wonder of it all,
the shoots of green,
the flowered abundance,
the colors of fall.

I write these words the day after,
sitting at my desk, looking out
at the still-green grass,
November wind scattering
fallen leaves,
which we will gather
as we always do.

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