Sunday, April 21, 2013

Cold comfort

The kind words said,
the tender hands
rest briefly on mahogany.
The hard men come
in their t-shirts and their caps
to drop you here
to rest beside the ashes
of your love.
The die is cast,
the dirt and flowers
thrown into the pit,
the carpet rolled away.
The wailing imprecations
of the lost and the bereft resound,
awakening responses in my heart
too harsh to bear.

And so I walk away to get my distance,
and find this marble bench,
set here by some other loving family
thoughtful in their loss.
I sit, and stare through these dead branches
at a sky too blue, at hills too green, a day too warm
to witness to the trauma that lies beneath.

And as tears dry
and focus comes again to vision dulled with weeping
I see that each fine branch
so delicately etched against the blur
carries, at its tip,
a bud, the promise of new life:
what looks like death is life already launched anew
though spring and the day
and this new life without you are all new.

The marble seat grows cold:
I shiver, and I feel a coat steal over my shoulders--
"You'll catch your death;
(Too late, I want to shout--
It's already here,
the intimations of mortality too numerous to bear)
put on your coat;
it's not as warm as it looks out here"
and I understand:
it's not as cold as it looks, either.

Your kindness is still here,
it's just taken other forms
and echoes still in the warm tones
of your son.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Linked In

As Icarus
with pasted feathers
soars to meet imagined destiny
we here apply,
first words, then fonts,
envisioning some flight to greatness,
dreaming of the accolades to come
then finding,
with those lifted, falsetto, wings
the glue that held it all together
drips between the lines
to pull us from the sun
and back into the sea of applicants;

the ascent so slow,
the fall so steep