Forty-Third Birthday

She shut the back door
easing it past the squeak.
Children asleep
Husband dreaming.

Crossing the yard, the balls of her feet
hollowed cups into dark grass
until she reached the bare maple

she lay down fully
the wet leaves
like leather against her neck, her cheek.

Setting hands upon her stomach
and the rise and fall of breath
she felt the rain soften her nightgown
the drops beating a birthday song on her eyelids.