What are you doing, the old woman called,
collecting those dead swallows? It’s impossible
when so many are falling in the street.
Here, come sit under this pear tree and rest
your sack in the young shade. See the forktailed
groom and the little girls in their poofed frocks
gusting like dried carnations across the church steps.
See the slender toe of the bride’s slipper
flipping the furled wings.
Another woman burst
through the church doors and began shaking her fist.
You with the sack, why are you filching our blossoms?
When we waited so long for them to open.