Elegy

The elegy is a form that has been around a long time, and can be so moving. I’ve written a few myself. I particularly love the ending of this one.

Elegy, Surrounded by Seven Trees

         All Saints Cemetery, Wilmington, Delaware

Ordinary days deliver joy easily
again & I can’t take it. If I could tell you
how her eyes laughed or describe
the rage of her suffering, I must
admit that lately my memories
are sometimes like a color
warping in my blue mind.

Metal abandoned in rain. My mother
will not move. Which is to say that
sometimes the true color o
fher casket jumps from my head
like something burnt down
in the genesis of a struck flame.
Which is to say that I miss
the mind I had when I had
my mother. I own what is yet.

Which means I am already
holding my own absence
in faith. I still carry a faded slip of paper
where she once wrote a word
with a pencil & crossed it out.

From tree to tree, around her grave
I have walked, & turned back
if only to remind myself
that there are some kinds of
peace which will not be
moved. How awful to have such
wonder. The final way wonder itself
opened beneath my mother’s face
at the last moment. As if she was

a small girl kneeling in a puddle
& looking at her face for the first time,
her fingers gripping the loud,
wet rim of the universe.

Rachel Eliza Griffiths
from Seeing the Body

Her sight also features her photography; worth taking a look!

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