Grief

Underneath the sand is more water,

deeper pools gathering the quick shuffle of sea crabs

and broken glass, and handfuls of time.

 

I remember grief, and I feel it remembering me,

far away in this prairie – sometimes

the wind sounds like the same ocean air

I breathed, and the resistance of the waves,

as I stood knee deep in a long tide,

is like the resistance standing in a wet field

before the winter sun burns the stubs.

 

The world is always living in you

everywhere you’ve been, all at once,

and losses are like stars that mark a certain sky.

But I see again I am standing, in tide or field,

my heart beating in the same rhythm

laughing or crying or both.

 

I travelled to a different hemisphere once

and the ocean smelled just the same,

and the fields were opened with wet earth, just the same.

There is the traveler and there is the journey

and there is the earth and there is the sea.

 

I fill my lungs with breath of something new

and it is also the breath of ancient things.

My grief, still, is the swirl of life in the hurried

disappearance of sea crabs into darker sand,

in the deer eating the remains

in a field on a winter day.

 

Mary Lautzenhiser Fraser January 11, 2017

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