… strength in what remains …
–Intimations of Immortality

By the pond, a maple
reddens already,
in middle August.
it still should be summer.
Fall’s upon us,

most of the grandchildren
back at their schools,
moved up a year.
And the nation…
that great gloom blends
with less epical fears–

four falls gone,
my heart had a clot;
I’m all right, but Steve,
best friend,
is buried¬– cancer.
A good deal to grieve.

Much endures, it’s true,
yet how hard, no matter,
not to sense a shadow,
as the old do.
Here at the edge
of our late-shorn meadow,

small baubles shine:
five blackberries strung,
more dark than just blue,
on stiff canes
gone leafless. The berries
should have vanished by now.

Brush bends in a breeze
that contains a slight chill.
Though tiny and poor,
it’s sweet,
the fruit, even more so
than when I found more.