Garden Elegy

Starlings still light in the sycamore
above empty feeders.

Sunflowers moldy
with neglect bend earthward,

unable to escape gravity.
The wind rasps through cornstalks.

I hear the coarseness of his hands,
the darkness of his cough.

A decade in the mines
was his purgatory,

so he asked not to go below
again. I dusted the ground

over his wife with his ashes
not more than a week ago.

Already, their grave is greening.