In beautiful, spacious September,
When pears in their boxes were golden and full,
We laid her ashes in the Minnesota earth.
Two years on, September still tastes a little like ashes.
Though pears, I have noticed, have decidedly sweetened,
And a number of trademark routines in this ambivalent month—
Say, walking the woods shifting to the red end of the spectrum
Or hearing the home crowd cheer at the homecoming game—
Have flared into a new expository grace.
Despite, or because of, her death?
It seems too cruel to say.
Copyright © 2018 Harlan Bjornstad. Reprinted with permission of the author. This poem originally appeared in The Southern Review, Autumn 2018.