by Jacalyn den Haan
Could I adjust to the dying? There is an earth, too
to let go. This is no discussion of my death, yet, no
arranging of wills, rites read, no viewing rooms
hearses, clergy, carnations, heaven, none of that.
There is always more leaving to do. And this prairie
as it is today I’ll grieve. Falter. I’ll have to leave behind.
Could I adjust to the death of the slow shift of seasons?
The disappearance of spring, summer turned to smoke
winter a vortex or gone. How could my memories yield the
sweetness of rotting leaves, fresh Mount Robson air
chirping frogs in my parents’ backyard, dead, dying–
seventy pages of goodbyes would not even be a start.
I try at farewells now: life will roll on, maybe– it must;
but this prairie would burn, will dust, might fade away.
And I don’t know how I’ll push on through fire, farewells.
I don’t know where this new world will hold beauty inside.