Sunday, June 1, 2014

The Leaves

In the autumn of '85 I perceived my Father's essence yellowing
      Just as all my past gardens have withered in frosts of the fall.
Mother's acuity was no longer present as in her years of bellowing;
      Her responses to my callings maundered or returned not at all.

Mama was in a world of her own, while Daddy was longing to leave his.
      The gleaming in his soul's windows, no longer brightly shone
With his love that moved us to envision the wonder of life just as it is.
      His eyes were soon to close on this world at four score years and one.

It took Mama only three moons to grasp that Daddy was really gone,
      And only thirty-six hours hence, to will her wretched life's end.
Enough! Enough! My heart cried, as only months later Ray was done.
      My son had decided, in tumultuous times, that Life was not his friend.

Death was not to visit our tribe for nigh unto seven recovering years,
      Only to harvest from my Angi, her Mother and two Grandparents.
Then that dreaded harbinger came for my Betsy to again prime our tears,
      No respite came as Grandson, J.R, fell from bullets rained in torrents.

My Shelby Jo lies paralyzed in Colonial Manor Nursing Home,
      A victim of Multiple Sclerosis and Epilepsy that blasts her brain.
She is nearly fifty, and can use only her mouth and one arm to roam;
      Yet, she makes myriad foam rubber works of art that make eyes rain.

This Mother’s son’ Michael, was found hanged in Burleson Park on
      Labor Day weekend of 2005, deep in the woods from a high branch.
I had talked with him four days earlier and promised a visit near dawn.
      His fellow workers in Fort Worth told me he was happy on the ranch.

My Big Brother’s Love was struck with a stroke robbed us of her laughter.
      And Jack each day had to travel to the home for the care she now needed.
Many days, weeks, months, moons and years later, both moved to the hereafter.
      Then came our 2007 cancer Hell, when our Nonny to Heaven proceeded.

Out in Phoenix we played and competed in cribbage, my last brother and I.
      Ronny’s life was so limited by the hose attached with oxygen to breathe
Too many times it was not enough to keep him upright much less let him fly.
      So now, I am what’s left of the brothers five which at 80 I must believe.

It now has been winter for too many years;
      The leaves from our living tree keep falling;
Others are beleaguered, portending fresh pools of tears.
      Soon! Very soon! For spring, our hearts keep calling.

©Spring of 1995/Revised in the Fall of 2007 and Winter of 2014 Robert R. Beaty

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