Second Today Poem

For Pearl

(1903-1986)

And I circled back upon myself wondering,

With the clatter of wheels on sidewalk,
Sound of metal slid over rubber rollers,
and a blue-gray box suspended
above a prettied pit—
The scent of dank river soil hanging in the air.

Rain fell outside, as we huddled
inside, under tent awning, arching
forward over yawning grave—
and beaded raindrops began a weary descent
down either side of casket lid.

“Drop a fork, a man is coming;
—-Drop a spoon, woman coming.

—-Cut your hair in the dark of the moon,
—-Then it won’t grow out so soon.

—-Happy the corpse the rain fall . . .”

———And the rain fell
“How can God hear all those prayers?”
——————–outside,
——-and we stood

——————inside,
——————–looking
—-—quavering midway between two notions—
at sky blue pearls gently rolling down a blue-gray hillside

and lost from view.

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