Names Written on Water – Part 2

[I promise to turn the topic to something less heavy soon.]

I wept from my belly a lot today as I spent many hours at a viewing
of an old friend. I dug up a simple poem that I wrote in 2000,
because it paints a similar scene to my today:

At the Viewing of a High School Senior
Whom I Never Knew

Tonight I saw a boy lying
in a lifeless open cave;
dead branches pushing out,
gave a brittle welcome wave,
begged me in silent words
to reckon with the grave.

His life summed up on a black felt sign
that spelled out his name
in a toothy white line.

His friends had eyes on him
but they beckoned me to drink
a chalice full of tearful whys,
to quench the thirst to think.

A kneeling spot was plush and red
where we all considered God
here a few first prayers were said
when we all considered God.

So we all hugged each other
till we turned to nothing more
than sparkle-speckled dust
fallen to the parlor floor.

2 Responses to “Names Written on Water – Part 2”
  1. Cari Base says:

    I lift my heavy heart up solemnly,
    As once Electra her sepulchral urn,
    And, looking in thine eyes, I overturn
    The ashes at thy feet. Behold and see
    What a great heap of grief lay hid in me,
    And how the red wild sparkles dimly burn
    Through the ashen greyness. If thy foot in scorn
    Could tread them out to darkness utterly,
    It might be well perhaps. But if instead
    Thou wait beside me for the wind to blow
    The grey dust up… those laurels on thine head,
    O my Beloved, will not shield thee so,
    That none of all the fires shall scorch and shred
    The hair beneath. Stand farther off then! go!
    Elizabeth Barret Browning

  2. jenelle says:

    mmmm…thanks to Google I could find that this one is from her Sonnets from the Portuguese. (Appropriately so.) Thank you, sweet Cari!

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