What is this snuffling through the foliage
that tears at my heart? Don’t wander
so far away, I hear myself saying.
But she never listened to me
if she didn’t want to.
Each day now is filled in
with a different present, another woods
we’ll no longer walk through together.
I take off my glasses and the real landscape
is smudged away—path by a river, pines
bent over water, that sunny field up ahead.
I can’t see enough to know
she isn’t there, but I know.
And what I hear is only
this idle breeze, casually touching
the leaves beside me as it passes through.