Epitaph

The autumn lingered day by day.
The trees still held their leaves
Golden against an azure sky.
The air was still. A squirrel ran across the lawn.

In a quiet room down the hall
The only sound was shallow breathing.
This was his last day on earth
The tired old man lay dying.
His gentle face relaxed,
No worried lines or fretful movements
Just a stately calm.
A prince among men.

At sunset the sky clouded
The birds were restless.
A wind blew and shook the branches,
And the leaves fell in a golden shower
As if the very trees wept at his passing.
That night he died and when the dawn broke
It was winter.

by Phyllis Marianne Gardner

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