Thinking of you in the pre-dawn
while I take the dog out and I see a shooting star.
Yeah, I know it isn’t some kind of wink from heaven.
You told me once:
“I think when you die, you are compost,”
but I have to tell you, Dad—
the only other time I saw one
was long ago at a campground in Ontario,
when you called us out, beer in hand,
to look at a meteor shower.
My sister and I tipped backwards
on playground swings
and stared, eyes watering
while the clear black sky streamed.
And I mean—the thing is,
you loved compost.
You experimented for decades:
barrels and tumblers
and wire bins and worm boxes,
aerators and a special thermometer
rinds and grounds and sprouted
Even eggshells and citrus peels
broke down enough to nurture,
to bring about brand-new seasons.
Carolyn Sperry is a freelance writer based in Rochester, NY. She has published articles in news outlets across the United States and is a winner of the Gotham Writers Stories Everywhere competition. Her poetry has appeared in As It Ought To Be and is forthcoming in Carmina. She lives with her husband, two sons, two black-and-white cats, and a yappy little dog.