What fades the cedar boards grey?
Is it the August sun or more the winter
fog that comes to settle, and stay
and draw up tannins?
Why too does our skin deepen in spots
burnt umber and flecks of black
and pull into lines and crack like bones
of wood grain?
Why do mountain peaks also whittle
this way, crumbling off scree,
flattening flakes of slate,
leaving vertebrae of ridgelines?
It is hard to see an old man wearing
pants that no longer fit.
It is hard to see a window missing
a pane of glass.
It is hard to find a key in a drawer
and know it will never find its lock again.
It is hard to hold your hand and rub
the knuckle and rub my knuckle
and know this too will be just dust.
For August will crack us dry
and winter set in, snug up its fog
watch us like water ripple grey and
silver, grey and silver.