Putting His Life in Order
While he slept alone last night
fall fell, without a sound.
In unswept piles upon the ground it lies.
For one brief, blessed moment,
in that state before complete awakening,
he dreams or he believes
that he is young and strong again.
A fleeting, sweet amnesia, then
the weary aching in his limbs awakes
him to his autumn's own diminishing.
The rustling of his hand upon the sheet.
He lumbers up.
Makes potent coffee,
drains the cup.
Puts on his battered cap.
Beneath the pale expanse of sky,
unbroken now by bursts of red and gold,
the empty arms of branches penciled lines,
he works, in his own measured time.
Stopping to lean against the broom,
unpocketing the rosary,
his knotted fingers drop the beads.
He sweeps them up among the leaves.
Putting his life in order.
-- Deb Cooper