Alison Clayburn

LEAF
You cannot mend the lives of others.You cannot mend your other lives.They have passed down the river,under the bridge where you now standlooking down at the mud and the sparklesand the fallen, floating leaves.
You are just a leaf yourself. You are onlya leaf caught up in a puddle, awaiting rainto take you to an eddy, a narrow stream,maybe a still pool, maybe a restless ocean.
Or awaiting wind – air to lift you,bowl you round walls,catch you in corners,spiral you upto float over rooftops.Eventually, to let you fall,to let youdisappear.

AT THE CREMATORIUM, MARCH 17TH, 2011
It is green and cool here. White blossom scatters – we call it confetti.But we are here to honour a life,not a union. Except somemight call it a union.
Under a large soft orb, we gatheraround floral tributesfrom which the undertaker's manremoves the cards. A plume of black smoke rises,seems gone in an instant.
I wave goodbye, think of that other smokein the land of many cherry trees,of the threat of evil confettiwhere white is the colour of funerals. We celebrate a life. We hope.

Alison Clayburn was born in Hampshire, UK, near the sea. She now lives in London by the Thames. After a long career as a community worker she became an adult educator, specializing in language and communications. She teaches creative writing with an emphasis on personal development. Buddhism has helped her to make changes.