“Memento Mori” by Kristen Thompson

When the sky begins to darken

Earlier every night

And the trees lose their own covering

I fear

Sometimes when I touch my cheeks

Feel the bones beneath, the teeth

The thought of a skeleton

Hiding so easily, so elusively

Under this mask

Of life

And death

Feels ever more imminent

Like it was only hiding before

Waiting to pounce

I fear

As the leaves are to the trees

Flesh is to the animals

Hiding the greatest secret and fear of all

The ever-present but often forgotten reminder:

Death is only a flimsy layer of skin and tissue away

And skeletons grin because they cannot frown

But autumn does not last