We begin again
we are all here
one of us is dead

Summer burns early this year
cats in heat
outside the kitchen door

suckling kittens sleep
beneath the porch

Birds of prey
devour road kill
Father died ten years ago

Mother lived up and down
all her life
sat in a rocking chair
at the edge of the city

listened to rising
cigarette smoke
or footsteps on subway stairs

Gray stone and dark pavement
entered through her
open window

We begin again
Mother is with us
we are all here
we confirm her death

When autumn folds itself
there may be a leaf or two
left on a deep rooted oak.