I held your hand when the doctor spoke
for fear that your touch was the last
I’d feel before the weather cools –
your life falling from you plainly as leaves
from the poplars that shelter our farm.
Hungry, wearing borrowed clothes,
after the doctor left, I crouched in a stairwell
My eyes, green gloss on a copper begging-bowl.
While most hurried past, a few did not turn away.
Alms, simple food, the bright coins of their gaze.