with love, I fall

“With Love, I Fall”

In Winter 2024: Climate Crisis, Poetry by Mary Beth Keenan

with love, I fall
Photo by John Mccann on Unsplash

With Love, I Fall

Looking deep into my child’s eyes,

I see both my ancestors and

my descendants, I fall

into a meditation about Mother Earth,

our universal ancestor, and her

potential fall.

Will these cherished future children know

the beautiful hues

of a mid-Atlantic autumn

as leaves change colors and then

fall?

They surely will carry an even heavier

load of the climate crisis than I do, however

could that make them more

present to the surprise

of a frost on green branches, which are

unwilling to let the extra weight cause them to fall?

I imagine their mouths will not hang in disbelief,

like my parents did,

as I recount

that rainy season in the mountains of Peru,

when the rain never ceased to fall.

Or when I describe how I cried

over the peonies, during years of heat waves,

when the temperatures shocked the blooms

and triggered every pink petaled head to fall.

And what about our varied pollinators?

Will their descendants even exist?

Will these small creatures know the thrill of a leg

so full of pollen that flight causes some to fall?

If the pollinators do not have descendants, then

surely mine will never know the joy

of a fresh berry, ripe on the vine in the front yard,

merely touched, caught by their hand as it falls.

I come back to the present moment

and behold my child again,

my soul,

hopes, prays, pleads,

that they will grow to know our Mother,

and in love,

fall.

About the Author

Mary Beth Keenan

Mary Beth Keenan is a writer, artist, and stay-at-home-mom. She writes at the intersection of ecology, motherhood, and integrated living, often with a sprinkle of mental health and spirituality. Her poems have been published with Geez Magazine and The Fallow House. Her essays appear at The Grotto Network, Live Today Well Collective, and Wisdoms Dwelling. She lives with her husband and two small children in Northern Virginia.

Read more work by Mary Beth Keenan .