What is death but stepping through a door,

then onto summer lawns, with fathers waiting

or mothers chiding, “Why were you so late?”

—the clouds around their feet a billowed flooring


of golden cumulus reflecting more

of them than moon could manage, fallen sensate

into star-thronged eyes by a garden gate

when they were young.

And now that greeny roar

is gone. Now this: the tree, the swing, your dad

full-bellied still, your mother’s soaring smile

a wing; your brother racing from the house

and shouting “It’s my turn,” no longer sad


about his death.

And for a little while,

or ever, love is all that time allows.