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What Does the Grave Say?

What does the grave say? My gates are all caves.
- Theodore Roethke

What does the cave save? Small bones to make its teeth.
Where do their ghosts sleep? In a bowl of feathered rest.
What bird flies best? The one with his long throat open.
Has the sky spoken? No, it sings, it weeps.
What does the rain complete? The valley’s cupped hand.
Does this chasm demand? Yes, your dawn and dreams that fell.
Will this morning swell? It breaks against the trees.
Can the forest breathe? It unfurls a high green lung.
Are its roots unsung? They hum and suck, they chant.
Do its twigs want banter? Just the light laughter of birds.
Is this what the deer heard? That, and horse’s hooves.
Does the horse know truths? He bears a girl the leaves long to kiss.
Will they bend and miss? She gallops too fast, they sigh.
Do her hands clutch the bridle? She falls while her teacher drinks.
Is his heart sinking? He takes his pen to lift its tendons.
Will she go unmentioned? We will love her better in his memory.

My sparrow, you are not here.
- Theodore Roethke

Posted 07/02/17
Published at Failbetter
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