The Goldenrod are Dying

and you are sure you’re doing all this 
wrong. You commend yourself for stretching

deeper than the old women 
on either side, you admire the tendons rippling

in your foot and still, 
you can't figure out how

to love. You don't smell it yet, but next week,
if it’s still warm enough for bikes,

their dying will certainly 
reach you. Always

the grieving, even for the squirrels
who escape, who remember 

where their past is buried. 
Is this your mother’s
voice? Still overruling
your own? It’s cuffing 

season—everyone is knitting
their socks together, making sacrifices, waiting

for the sun to stop 
trying so hard. You pedal faster

past the browning 
flowers and hope