autumn, seasons, grief

Autumn Leaves

Can I pretend, just for a few minutes
That you are outside in the yard
Wearing your red flannel hoodie?

Can I imagine, just for a while
On this beautiful November Saturday –
That you’re raking the fallen leaves, as you loved to do?

Wearing your tiny white iPhone earbuds,
You’re listening to the new Grisham book

Oh, how you enjoyed that…
Raking and listening to your novels
Working up a sweat out in the crisp, cool autumn air

When I look out our window, and watch the vibrant colored leaves
fall from our trees…




I can’t help but think of you and your red hoodie
and your rake

When I discover there’s a new novel by one of your favorite authors,
I can’t help but picture you contentedly listening
to the story

It builds up, this pain
It slowly builds up and up…

day …



Seasons change
Holidays come and go
Time moves on

I take in all that you’re missing
And I long for you more each day

Minute by minute, hour by hour, day by day. . .




I move away from the times we shared

Like leaves floating in the wind,
I drift away from you

But the memories still surface with the smallest trigger
Autumn leaves
New Grisham books
Beautiful November days

The pain builds and I tamp down the tears, until
The storm…


And the agony of missing you can’t be ignored
And I can pretend no longer

You aren’t out in our yard
You aren’t raking leaves
You’ll never hear the new Grisham book

I will keep moving forward
And you will be left behind
And autumns will come and go
But I’ll always think of you

About the author

Katherine Billings Palmer is a technical writer, poet, and essayist from Garden City, Michigan. She’s won several academic writing awards, including first place in the University of Michigan Dearborn Critical Essay Contest for her work about poet John Donne: “‘The Sun Rising’: A Lover’s Boast.”

In 2017, Katherine’s husband, Rick, died of complications from small cell lung cancer. She wrote a series of poems and essays about her struggles to cope with her grief. I Wanted to Grow Old With You is available on Amazon in paperback and Kindle editions.

Her latest book, A Widow’s Words: Grief, Reflection, Prose, and Poetry – The First Year was published in January 2019 and is also available on

Katherine is a guest blogger for the Hope for Widows Foundation and writes about her grief journey at

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