194 Readings

Depart & Return: A Family Ritual

Sundays are mandated grievings.

Bodies of men suspended

between here and somewhere.

Women who sob through sharp tongues

and stretched bellies.

We ache with the weight of gravity’s pull.

Beat fists bloody against gravestones.


We are the sons left lonely

sharing the long, cold shadow of loss.

What remains of widowed mothers?

They hover —a recurring assurance

we too don’t disappear.

Ground swallows sky as we circle.

Rows of kin etched in a grassy stretch.


On this day we must mourn distance.

Weather ruin and a cruel wind.

On this day the air is hot.

On this day the rain is frozen.

We search for signs of life.

A small sprig rising from the dust.

Posted 11/15/15
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