Paying for Shade

by Peter Saint-Andre

Paying for shade,
I herd branches,
Leaves, and needles
Across the lawn —
An advancing
Line of debris,
The jetsam of
Apple and spruce.

An early snow
Means that water
And ice are mixed
In, that I'm late
To garbage bags
And rakes — late to
Gathering this year's
Harvest of death.

Yet with this slough
Cleared away, there's
Room now for the
Sun to provide
What winter warmth
It can, then melt
The snows and burst
The buds of spring.

An old woman
Passes — I smile
And wave, yet her
White hair and my
Pile of fallen
Leaves remind me
Of those I loved
Who now are gone.

Peter Saint-Andre > Writings > Ancient Fire