…listening to the ground

by Elizabeth Cunningham

no objective correlative for this hard time

more life in a desert than in desolation

this grief is punctuation. stop. what can be next?

the pressure of sorrow and terror, internal

external: what is being ground to dust between

these real or imagined huge and relentless stones  


outside the window above the altar, a rock

cliff more ancient than the church, crevices alive

with moss and fern, rising to bare sentinel trees

there is never just one death, each person’s dying

takes so much with it, the form of a family

and other circles that held her, that she helped hold   

the ducks and geese know where they are going and why

they splash land, they lift off and fly. Ripples remain

till they widen out and out into the unseen

Elizabeth, it is more than your friend you miss

stay here with yourself awhile, be patient, be still

while you grieve your feet are listening to the ground

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