Last Request Maybe it's because the days are growing shorter, and each one starts and ends in cold, maybe that's why the sun on my back this afternoon is a loving arm--not a lover's, but a son's, the one who seldom comes anymore for love. Maybe it's because the mountain is now etched in white and the foothills, unafraid, blaze copper and gold and the sunflowers beyond my fence eye me, unblinking in their untamed gardens, and the sky, wholly blue, blesses my days with what even my mother-in-law would have to call happiness. Maybe that's why I think of her when the magpies who have squawked all summer from the roof of our tool shed come now reverently to worship beneath the mountain. Maybe that's why the one rosebush nearest the house continues to push tangerine clusters into the world, like my neighbor in her eighties who asks me to paint her fingernails Passionate Plum. There is something each autumn that presses against the wall, that commands me to make a last request: one more lark song, one last rose, petals tipped in yellow, a last look at our purple-leafed maple before it spreads its sequined cape across the grass.
Source: I have learned five things, 1995 winner, Nat’l Fed’n StatePoetry Societies’ manuscript comp
Contributed by: Zaady