“You and the Park”

I am looking at the bark of a pine tree, wondering if it has always been orange and purple and only now do I notice.

Children’s voices from two yards over giggle across the drive.  At this distance, it sounds as if the youngest is squealing over the inequities of freeze tag:
threatening to go tell Momma:
threatening to quit the game.

You can hear the highway from here if you sit very still and don’t hum.  And there are birds.  Red ones.  Their songs aren’t as pretty as some of the more plain ones, but you can’t have everything

And speaking of everything, I wish you were here.

“I Bury You Before You Are Dead” 8/27/05

I bury you before you are dead
so when the real time comes,
it is not so bad.
Forgive me this little piece of dirt here and there I nudge
with my toe
or my carefully placed tossings of dust,
camouflaged into the conversation
or passed off as dance.

I know we both feel our loss of visits; 
we only have holidays,
our lack of phone calls and notes.
Forgive me this polite shoveling of earth,
this morbid motion, this pushing you away.

I do it for preservation!
I do it so I can breathe on this planet
so that I can live through the funeral
so that my heart does not pop out on the floor like a dropped roast.