A lament of naked chestnuts stands
watching over leafbound graves.
In the midst of life we are in death.
The book falls open to corrugated liturgy,
its own leaves sodden by November tears.
How blessed are those who mourn.
From damp dust we were fashioned;
now mud to mud returns.
God of great mercy, receive.
As torrents pour off a gutterless roof,
Autumn’s grip on life goes slack.
Yet though he dies he shall live.
While Winter’s spirit waits
in the shadow of the lychgate.
And we live on in sure and certain hope.