WIDOW, WAKING by Betsy Sholl
I don’t want a day when I never think of you,
but I would like more in the morning news
than another briefing on your absence.
I miss hearing my name as summons to a kiss.
If we can’t step into the same river twice,
with the past it’s not even once.
Memories are hot watches, knockoffs
pinned to the insides of my coat.
I open it and become a flasher.
At least the wind is wild today, the trees
in a frenzy. If I wore a wig it would be
long gone, snagged in the crook of a tree,
but good for containing something
that starts off fragile, then grows wings.
If you are a spirit now, can you hear me
or have you left our flesh too far behind?
Somehow I’ve landed at the shore
where late sun makes the sea grass glow,
and for a second I don’t want to hold you
or anything, not moonrise in the east
or sun gleam in the west, not the path
of watery light washing my feet.
Still, I can’t stop talking to you. Grief
is a heavy coat, dragging the ground.
But death is very cold, so I wear it.
- Published in Issue 22