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Aeternae

By Charlynn Estes All Rights Reserved ©

Poetry

Aeternae

After reading Louise Glück’s “Labor Day.”

I don’t know how long it’s been since my father died.
I remember it was cold. We held no funeral,
           we were the only ones left to mourn.
How ridiculous it is to bury the dead. How
           expensive.

Today, it’s hot.
There is just you and I now, the widow and the daughter.
Mourners of an ever fading shadow,
of a ghost.

On the table, there is a box of ashes,
           a reliquary
of cardboard and red ribbons,
that gathers dust and heat. What we want
           is
to remember.

There is no time-stop for death,
no pause, no requiem, no respite.
One day, there is an ache so great it blacks out the heat
           of the world;
the next, you’re dusting cardboard and ribbon with a sigh.

It means nothing, of course,
           ash requires no cleaning,
but the ghosts grow restless when left alone.

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