"I will nurse this autumn carefully,
treat its brittleness gently,
smooth its crumbling edges, its weeping afternoons.
I will rise early and go to it,
wrap it in a soft cloth
and watch its breathing.
I will nurture this autumn knowing
it is myself
in a pure and golden form,
and that childlike
soft words will be brought bubbling up
to be recorded in the patterns of leaves
and the low fog coming across the bay.
I will accept this death
and be content with its coming and watch
and speak of its coming in slow poems
until at last
there will be no more words,
you will hear only the sound of rain as you sleep."
-Wendy Smyer Yu (found in Life Prayers, p. 347, edited by Elizabeth Roberts & Elias Amidon)