The shadow of a word in the bright light
on a tombstone: there is a soul here.
The mind makes something mark the spot.
The cardinals bring color, not sorrow,
and the flowers smile on death’s portal,
as if at a wedding. I am lag of a mother.
She has moved far beyond me, into the fissure
in which I drop my lines, not those of a fisherman,
but of a poet, kneeling by the bottomless well
called Time. With my coffee this morning I read:
“Berryman’s readings were punctuated by keening” –
Intense mournful wailing after a death, from the Irish, caoineadh.
A new word for an old relief, a new word for the venting
of that sound that left my throat a decade ago,
of that sound still undefined.