against the pavement
it came to fetch her . . .
her deathbed in the leaves
where she lay
silent and still.
Poor old woman
no one knew her name
but she was waiting moments past
impatient for the school bus
and her grandson's happy smile.
The two year old had toddled
up the path beside her
one hand holding lollipops for his brother
the other, Grandma's soft black skirt.
Now he looks with giant eyes
as life departing frees his hand
and slumps like crumpled cloth
upon the ground.
Grandma! Grey and cloudy
like this day of no goodbyes.
And her spirit moved among the leaves
in sorrow great for these, the little ones
in her charge . . . in her love.
"Weep for me, my little one.
Weep your brother too,
who only hears the bus wheels
rounding corners, humming home tunes
unaware the days of holding hands are done.
Hide me, someone, from his searching glance
as round the bend that yellow transport glides
floating full of children's laughter.
Flag a detour . . . someone kind!
Don't let my deathbed be a spectacle
announcing his arrival
black and fearful in his heart.
Enough this little one, my witness.
Enough . . . this bus stop.
Joanne Cucinello 2007