Lost Leaf

She'll never drive
out that road again, she says
even to visit her old neighbors

The land might be different now,
new fruit trees, new
fences, but sleeping
in it everywhere are her hands

As if each thrust of the spade
in the garden took root, each beat
of her pulse pushed through
the dry stones in the creekbed
from a buried heart

Records in the county courthouse
save her signature like
a flattened October leaf
through the winters

But the land is the same
and her memories lie cramped
in the spring buds, waiting,
her hunger to be there
hums like the yellowjacket nest
under the rafters of the barn