After Seeing a Fir Down at a Nearby Cemetery
Neither the dead whose graves
the tree spans and covers
nor the nearby dead in neat rows,
maybe even the relatives
do not care, or know. Come
Memorial Day their eyes will open
at a cracked headstone.
But now the fir’s luxurious
green softens iron-hard ground,
the marble markers toppled,
and the trunk lies prone as one
of the dead, now joined.
Once I told my husband how much
Christmas wreaths on graves
cheered me—red bows on circles
of green. Lay one there
for me, I almost said—
I don’t desire that vaulted
dark, permanent as a strut
of a bridge, a building’s footstep.
Burn me and set my spirit free,
ash in the ravine, or mud
of Lamberton Creek or
the Grand River. Let flowing
water flow, and the body’s spirit who adored
motion, rocking—let it move.