I collect my griefs like medals,
wear them bravely and with madness,
bear their regular unclasping,
bear the blood they draw.
Autumn has finally come.
It tears at the plum tree,
strews leaves across the ground.
Soon rain will come and beat them into compost.
Small birds ruffle their feathers
and pull their heads down into their coats.
Me too. My shoulders are rounded
from all these autumns.
There is an old man in what is left of a country town
making a wreath for Anzac Day.
Alone, he will carry it to the memorial
wearing the medals of his grief.