farewellAgain and again I have to teach myself the splendor of decay. The little pile of cerulean feathers drifting beneath the pine where the bluebird met the Cooper’s hawk for the last time. The muddle of spent spikes on the butterfly bush, winter-dried to the palest rustle. The blighted rose, its tangled canes gone black and monstrous in death, baring now the fine architecture of the mockingbird nest it sheltered last summer. The gathered dust on the abandoned piano throwing off light like sparks in the waning day, and the cut lilies’ petals, released in one long sigh.