Black Sunday, Sunset 4:14 PM


imgresLast 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.

“…nor spare a sigh
Though worlds of wanwood leafmeal lie;
And yet you wíll weep and know why.”

Sorrow hangs about my garden. Dusk’s coming fast, melancholy, too. Came inside and wrote this:

Black Sunday

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.

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