Last day of raking, raking and bagging leaves. First, a visit to our friend D who’s been back in the hospital the past three weeks. Now, he’s waiting for blood count data pending a possible second stem cell transplant.
I come home to face one last hour of leaf bagging before the sun sets. I grab handfuls of damp, decaying leaves from the edges of the stone-bordered garden. I leave the rest in the center,stuck to the ground in flat sheets, a blanketlike mulch to keep the perennials safe till spring.
I can’t help thinking back to sophomore year in high school, English class, where we read Gerard Manley Hopkins’ “Spring and Fall: To a Young Child.
Sorrow hangs about my garden. Dusk’s coming fast, melancholy, too. Came inside and wrote this:
My rake goes for the leathery oak leave
the size of dinner plates. Its tines
drag decomposing hosta, iris fronds
bleached, slimy, spotted with mildew.