Snow in October

 

I knew it was coming.

I just didn’t expect snow so early—

before the leaves all fell,

though I knew it was autumn

in Minnesota

where snow is inevitable,

where death, as everywhere,

is inevitable.

 

When it came for my mother,

she dropped one night like a leaf

into her sheaf of newspapers with half-finished

crossword puzzles,

a week past her Libra birthday.

 

My sisters and brother and I

buried her up north on a snowy slope

in October.

We dressed for dignity,

not the weather,

our thin shoes sliding toward the grave.

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