When I Die

I want to die the way a leaf dies in autumn.
I want to blaze six shades of orange,
translucent in the afternoon sun.
I want to embrace the branch
just as much as I surrender 
to the breeze.

I want my voice to rustle gently,
to soothe weary hearts and minds,
to call forth the ancestors in a soft plea-
come carry me home.

I want to know my death 
makes me no less part of the tree.
That dying can be as triumphant as tragic.
I want to know that the hope of rebirth
is just a season away.

I want my skin to smell of damp, forest floor
of decay that fertilizes new growth.
I want to be remembered just as much
for the blue sky of my eyes 
as the red of my lips
and burn even brighter during days of gray.

I want to tumble and soar
wherever the wind blows,
I want the final fall to initiate  
an adventure yet unknown.

And when people see me in my last days,
I want them to think of sweet and nostalgic things- 
warm pumpkin pie, campfire smoke,
the first bite of a crisp apple
or sitting on a bale of hay 
in an open field.

I want to die the way a leaf dies in autumn.
I want to return to the ground,
be buried in its tresses
and let my skeleton bones lie naked-
pure and white in the glow 
of an effervescent moon.

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