I knew it was coming.
I just didn’t expect snow so early—
before the leaves all fell,
though I knew it was autumn
where snow is inevitable,
where death, as everywhere,
When it came for my mother,
she dropped one night like a leaf
into her sheaf of newspapers with half-finished
a week past her Libra birthday.
My sisters and brother and I
buried her up north on a snowy slope
We dressed for dignity,
not the weather,
our thin shoes sliding toward the grave.