I don’t know how she learned of sadness.
Our curriculum was always joy.
When we lost all her houses, she lived
well enough in mine. When we quarreled
over nothing, it reminded us how love is.
Our children came by the house and left –
bringing babies into and out of each day.
Nothing seemed lost longer than the length
of a memory, although autumn returned
everyday to claim crisp, paper loud leaves.
They cackled in the wind, whispered
behind our backs we were getting older.
All of this got out to the neighbors
who, one by one, observed the children
no longer coming to the front door
in SUVs too early in the morning.