September, Fallen

We sort through pictures all afternoon,
breathing the dust of chipped
and tattered corners. My young parents
sitting on the grass with their first two babies,
me and my brother,
gray light flooding around us.
Before dinner, I step out the back door
to gather a few scabby pears.
Under the skin, the fruit
will be unblemished and sweet.
Such a jolt--not a metaphor,
an electric tingle of awareness
like a bee's sting--
to brush our fingers over the faces
of so many loved dead. Near the backyard gate
a deer has left its hoofprint
mashed into one over-ripe pear.