An All-Saints Kind of Gratitude

I look back through Novemember’s
just-hanging-on leaves, the negative space
of our promises to drive through Malabar’s
winding road, taking in October’s blasts of color.
The weeks have whipped by, the leaves ignoring my
requests to stay, to never fall away, and my melancholy
drips bitter without the sweet.

Then I see our love’s first fruits hanging
on you, lying on you like so many apples,
our children’s morning sweetness, their bodies’
hard softness, wild hair, pokey elbows,
squishy bellies and meaty feet.  They grow
unconditionally from our branches, buds,
and blossoms.  They grow their own stems and leaves
and seeds and develop their own autumn flavors.

We drop away when we are ripe

thankful for what we are

what we have

and what we miss.

Suffer the Ache, Sweet Babies

When earth finally moves again
and soil gives up after soaking rain,
we watch seeds pods crack open,
spindly white stems humbly folded,
their heads still buried in dirt.

I marvel at miracles,
little babes surrounding me
like folds of skirts, hugging my legs
and screaming all sorts of nonsense
because they are tired and hungry.

I watch them now, their heads bent low,
their stems spindly and white, and I
wonder how much rain it will take to soften
their earth, if they will keep their heads buried
or suffer the ache of reaching upward.