What happens

to the leaves after

they turn red and golden and fall

away? What happens

to the singing birds

when they can't sing

any longer? What happens

to their quick wings?

Do you think there is any personal heaven

for any of us?

Do you think anyone,

the other side of that darkness,

will call to us, meaning us?

Beyond the trees

the foxes keep teaching their children

to live in the valley.

So they never vanish, they are always there

in the blossom of the light

that stands up every morning

Roses, Late Summer

               by Mary Oliver

in the dark sky.

And over one more set of hills,

along the sea,

the last roses have opened their factories of sweetness

and are giving it back to the world.

If I had another life

I would want to spend it all on some

unstinting happiness

I would be a fox, or a tree

full of waving branches.

I wouldn't mind being a rose

in a field full of roses.

Fear has not yet occurred to them, nor ambition.

Reason they have not yet thought of.

Neither do they ask how long they must be roses, and then what.

Or any other foolish question

David LaMotte


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