By Elena Pollack  

From on its bough the mighty leaves did fall

And on the ground the red covered the snow

Each one lands just like a drum will beat

There for all the world to see and hurt

Covering the land from sea to sea (5)

The sun sets on a red ocean of grass

I look to see my father on his back

His eyes, once bright, are duller than a rake

His face is gaunt and covered in the Earth

His arms tucked to his side like wooden planks (10)

His mouth is open as if he should breathe

But not a sound shall come from out his lips

His hands are cold and wrinkled in my grip

His fingers stiff and long beneath the cloth

Upon his brow a kiss that I did place (15)

To send him off along the River Styx

The room is cold and smells of sterile death

The hallway stretches on with mirrored walls

A cry moves from our room to the next

Echoed in the ever changing world (20)

Across the sea there repetition is

The same lost love is found throughout our lives

From one generation right to the next

The red strings of our hearts we know will break

Forged were they right when our lives began (25)

Or in the course of life where we did meet

Their strength grew stronger each and every day

To our short lives they brought some joy and love

They bring with them the chance for light and strength

They leave us with these aching holes of dark (30)

They leave us with the sorrow of the lost

The knowledge of what was taken from us

We tasted fruit from the forbidden tree

And now we yearn to live among the birds

To fly away from death and loneliness (35)

To join the fruits in their first blossoming

To fall like leaves when summer knows to end

To be reborn when spring begins again

No longer such an aching endless need

Of love and hope and home for all our lives (40)

To fall so freely when the time has come

To never fear the knowledge of the end

To fall with all our family at once

And not alone where love was left behind

Like petals, we all end up together, (45)

Holding hands at the base of the tree.

The heaviness of death is hard to bear 

No matter the length we managed to live

Or the deeds we manage to complete,

We all will turn to dust, like fire’s ash

Returning to the Earth from whence we came

Continuing the circle for all time

A soft baby’s fingers around my thumb

A wrinkled hand beneath my fingertips