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COVID Fall: Memorial

I wanted to know who she had been
They gave me adjectives–nice, so nice
The sweetest lady. I wanted to know her loves
And those fell rarely from their lips.
By chance, a mention: she loved
The river valley in autumn. Oh. Me too.
She was oak and birch, maple and sumac
Blazing? Yes. So am I. Then another:
Turtle sundaes, pecan and caramel
Sticking in our molars. Yes. Oh yes.
With that I start to build an idea,
The faintest image of who she was,
Who we would have been together.
As we approach a million,
Gather their loves: this one a sunset
Streaking wide prairie skies,
That one petrichor and sunshine,
Another varnished wood. This is how
We keep them. This is how we keep our souls.

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