How Can We Keep Them from Falling (for Thousand Oaks Victims and All Others)

Autumn leaves dodge the rage of this world,
descend in swirls, a tender confetti like
righteous flares of charity: a chance
for me to break full open to wonder.

An easy thing some days, thrills of nature,
yet it is innocence hard to save from terror,
to cherish as human lives fall faster, redder,
farther, erased in ways that cannot be forgiven.

Yet still leaves release from high perches,
and grace my passing, whispers of mercy,
a breath passing one from another and
to me as I weep without making a sound,
and kneel at their blazing, frail beauty
and loosen and strew my heart among them

and call into stillness

oh
stay

Photos by Cynthia Guenther Richardson