For Molly



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.