August 4, 2017

for Jane Herndon Smith (1912-1997)

the gusts of wind rustling the leaves
forget nothing

not your birth
a hundred and five years ago

not your death
almost twenty years ago

the light is gentle
because you read the psalm

in the shuddering night
the shadows are a refuge

because you are
the emptiness between

the flat sky and rumpled trees
the sharp-edged roofs and streets

that holds loss
with timid ferocity