The rain had ended when I reached the house.
I entered then the paved and fenced-in yard—
a little rectangle, before the stairs,
that then was strewn with wet and yellowed leaves.
And there, upon a wooden bench that still
was damp from rain, I sat and ate my lunch—
my store-bought sandwich halves of bread and cheese,
while sipping coffee from a paper cup,
my dollars paid—for just a bit of peace.
The fence was low and made of bars and curves
of iron, painted black but rusted through.
It offered no obstruction to the view
of houses and a street with lines of trees
that then were shedding leaves as fall approached
but still were clothed in waving foliage.
They soared in all their grace and majesty,
as shades of gray and white and hues of blue
were backdrops to the dances of the trees.
The tree across the pavement from the yard
rose up and arced against the clearing sky.
It seemed to be as old as me—or more.
And if the storms and humans spared it, then
it surely would outlive my span—and so
another, after I am gone, might sit
and eat his lunch and gaze at tree and sky,
upon this bench or on the stairs, at peace,
and like me, wonder—whither, whence and why.