A Poem by Yael Diplacido-Eastman

by Mark Chmiel

A week after your death
I’m on my hot pink bike
Seeing every wooly caterpillar
On its way across my path
The trees above are leaning forward
Lamenting with a dance of
Falling leaves
Their shadows on the ground
Are telling stories
In languages beyond
Comprehension
Beyond grasp
The air is crisp and
Dry yellow and brown
And I cut through it
Paddling away
Salt on my face and
in my mouth
The song of
The bike trail is loud
With tones of crow
Life
Spreads thick and sharp
Before me
As a message I can’t ignore
In life you were a man
Passing by quietly like
Those caterpillars on the ground
I navigate my bike around them
So we are barely noticed
By each other
In death you have commanded
The world
To live
And so it shall
And so it must
And so it does.

–Yael was in Israel in October visiting her sister and accompanying her brother-in-law in the last days of his life.

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