Her Scent No Longer Lingers

Even as the last apple falls
the Fire Cracker goldenrod explodes
adding a yellow fizz
to the border of brown and green.
Blots of fuchsia,
where the last florets of phlox remain,
catch my eye.
It was a summer of loss.
Every good apple was carried away
by an unnatural flux of chipmunks this year,
no applesauce, no cinnamon scented pie.
The shade of those apple trees
where she used to lie
is cool and empty.
A squirrel leisurely runs
up a nearby maple
crosses to the overhead branches
looking down at no one.
Her scent no longer lingers
on limp blades of grass
where rabbits less wary
pass between the hedge and herbs.
In the pond where she drank
a spotted leopard frog
no longer leaps beyond
her big black nose.
Cats come around.
The field remembers,
the garden misses her.
A stir beneath the apple trees
moves along, down the path
to the steps, under the honeysuckle
arch, between the yellowing
lily leaves and the coral bells
gone to seed.
Even as the last apple falls,
I think I hear her panting,
I think I feel the brush
of her tail against my leg.

By Joyce Joslin Lorenson

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