Becky Kiel

Emerging Author

             The Fallen Leaves

The fallen leaves cover yellow grass
like a golden flag lying on a grave,
while flags flutter at half-staff again.

So many are hungry, despairing to be fed,
so many unclothed, shivering in these storms,
so many sit alone in jail, waiting for defense,
while I stand here, not knowing which
way to turn.

I pray for strength to face today,
as I plan a weekend outing.
Next week feels far away.

I pray for children, that they will grow up
and hold their children close,
that they will teach grandkids about
that maverick hero, John McCain,
who day by day earned his own way through
the fury of our enemies, through
the muck of power-mad rivals
and found his own crystal clarity:
     respect for the dignity of all people
     brings happiness more sublime
     than life’s fleeting pleasures.

Turning to the porch, I reach down
to take the potted parsley in my house.