until a hooded oriole bids farewell,
his song in couplets settling
like soft rain or night fog
on the shivering spikes of moor grass,
on the gingko’s yellowing leaves,
on the silver branches
of this receding day.
His requiem falls on my shoulders,
the pages of my book, the folds
in my cotton dress. Even as I
lean over this poem
tired and alone, it lingers. And now
with a clove of moon and a train
whistling in the distance
it becomes my tears.