Grey Oak

I turn the stony corner
where the graveyard begins.
Today I am a mourner.

Crows circle garbage bins
beyond the iron gate;
two magpies poach hairpins;

a sparrow comes too late,
then flees the treasure chest.
I move on, and I wait.

It is here she will rest
beneath the silt and sand,
her headstone facing west.

And still, I can’t withstand
the power of my grief.
A tree can’t understand
the falling of its leaf.

by Leo Yankevich

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