For My Daughter, the Theologian

All that is left
is yellow now.
And brown.
Far off, a truck
climbs up some hill
to town.
Acorns on the path.
Winter coming down
from Canada.
Dying comes to mind,
and resurrection.

In the hospital last fall
resurrection came
by power of machine.
I tell myself that this will be
a gentler fall by far.

But there’s a random culling
in the universe. The fox, the
falcon—machinery of muscle,
tooth and claw.
Resurrection seems
at best
an afterthought,
and death the law.

Last autumn death gave you
profound consideration
and then turned away.
I beg you, child in love
with mystery,
Don’t go.
You’ll learn soon enough

all you need to know
of death. Meanwhile,
rest in your first small resurrection.
Death, after all, may be common
and resurrection odd
but for now, lay down your research.
Wrap yourself unquestioning
in the afterthought of God.

From Another River: New and Selected Poems (Amherst Writers & Artists Press, 2005) by Pat Schneider. Copyright © 2005 by Pat Schneider. Used with the permission of the Estate of Pat Schneider.