An Early Afterlife, Linda Pasten 1995

A lovely, sad collection by one of my favorite poets—nature, the seasons, time, aging and death are the foci of her poems and my thoughts.  So many memorable lines and passages filled with family, the seasons, especially spring flowers, falling leaves (‘That’s how it feels right now/when I look out and see/the leaves blowing/like pages torn/from the November trees/and I understand suddenly/how old I am‘), and snow’s cover representing the inexorable cycle of changing seasons and time.  Leaves as masks providing cover form our neighbors.  Houses providing shelter and cover—the 23 framed landscapes out the windows reminding me of Vermont.  A poem on suicide concludes:  ‘rewriting the script/of her own life/whose alternative endings/she wouldn’t stay here/long enough/to read.”  Baseball as a metaphor of life which ends, “It’s just a way of passing/the time, I said,/and you said that’s it/yes.”