If not for the wind and its icy tendrils
Pestering my hair and furrowing my brows
I might not have looked down and seen
Leaf shadows on cement, like long-ago stars
Impressions of what had been, dancing in place
They litter my path and mock my steps
“Catch us if you can,” they whisper playfully
Knowing the futility of clutching the intangible,
A mere silhouette of that which once dazzled
Aha, I know why you’re here, I think.
To remind me of the fading of a person dear
A bright smile growing dimmer each day
Unfair, that after a brilliant season of sun,
The lake breeze and the scent of peonies,
We’re left with this waning imprint of you.
(In memory of a family friend whose memorial we’ll be attending this weekend.)