This fall, the sun paled on the eastern horizon
and night rushed across the sky to darken the garden.
Bony hands nearly touched, but faded into the shadow.
Eyes, blurred with tenderness, met, narrowed, closed.
Rain, driven from the north, spilled
over a summer-parched earth, marched
between sea and land, loosened
its anger on rock. I railed against it.
Last night, without warning, loneliness visited.
I stirred it into a clay pot tangy with pork
and oyster, before picking it with tongs
and savored each small bite of bitter memory.
This summer, newly-pruned blackberry vines
and freshly-turned winter weeds became
garden mulch, and marked the lengthening days
bright and filled them with the promise of new life.
--Leila Rae (2003)