Nothing in Nature is Ever Lost
by Ute Carson

She slips from old age into dying, a setting sun.
Only slowly does she notice the change
as those around her fall silent.
An old woman's loneliness.
She long ago abandoned the belief
that God's eye is on her as on a sparrow,
but she still puts the best of herself
onto the enduring pages of her diary,
confessing her sleeping potion
of lukewarm water with shots of whisky
and her dreams of dark shadows flitting by.
But when the stars dim
and a faint pink line brightens the horizon,
and her dog nudges her to be let out,
she makes her way
to the crumbling backdoor steps,
folding her aging flesh beneath her
and sips soothing tea through her thin lips.
Her teaming garden,
bougainvillea cascading water-like over the fence
is not a bad place to contemplate dying,
birds stirring in the bushes,
dragonflies skimming the grass
sweet with dew as though rinsed by tears.
She inhales the scented air of wild mint.
When she tilts her head back she can see the sky,
and only slowly pulls in her wings,
knowing that the earth is gentle
to all living things that fall into her embrace
to be harbored and to await germination
for the annual rebirth.

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