Sometimes I imagine
parking lots are water, dark seas
no longer dry ground
but not either anywhere to drown.
Sometimes all the trees in the park
are radiant yellow
in the end of November twilight,
almost gold, unearthly
under the moist glowy streetlight.
There isn’t red or orange or russet,
just that one-colored shimmer of brightness
seemingly in flight.
Sometimes after the leaves finally leave,
the fire escape with the missing slats
appears to be the same color as
the distant emptied treescape;
sometimes it’s better to leap
out into unknown branches than
that broken iron opening up only
to what’s below.
Death unites us again
as it divides us from the loved one
taken too soon of course.
The face of a rare orange cardinal
startles close at the glass
while a rust-capped hawk
tops the lone tree’s highest branch.
We want those birds to be the beloved
bringing back a message of how it is,
how it will be when
death unites us again.
–Rebecca Weiner Tompkins