Even in Darkness, I Feel the Lingering

Willow in CemeteryHer eyes are closed to her own beauty,
Blind to carpet of green that covers the grave.
She cannot feel arms of weeping willow
Whose long sad tendrils sweep over the ground,
Slowly brush the earth, twist and turn in chill summer air.
At night when sleep evades, I wonder
What tenuous thoughts linger in her head.
Do some sluggish green gods watch over—
Are heaven’s hearts tuned sympathetically?
Hear my wordless prayers
As they pass outside my window….
Open ears until graciously receptive,
Never turn your backs,
Allow winds to clear falling leaves away.
Even in the dark, I feel the lingering
Human presence of those now gone,
Those whose bones are joined with soil.
They walk our empty streets at night;
Miraculously they whisper among themselves.
No wonder my toes itch when I remove
Shoes after walking alone in the dark.
Forgotten names roll by under the trick of dim lights,
Familiar shadows moving, willing to meet….
Darkness swoons with heavy vapors washing the air,
Distills the breath before it leaves lungs,
Resolves and concentrates all intent—
Only what endures illuminates the grief.

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