Begin Again to Rig the Mast
Sally SandlerIn my memory it was more
than mother’s ash we delivered
to the harbor by the bay,
on a warm August eve.
It was father who that time
needed help to be born,
to let go silent cries of grief
into the forgiving wind,
to breathe deep the scent of pine
into his remaining lung,
and feel the supple summer breeze
swaddle his arthritic bones.
To be embraced in nature’s arms,
and lullabied by lapping waves,
rocked by the earth’s turn
toward the ships moored at sea—
they so many silver stars
in a dim darkling sky.
And later when her ship set sail
to a far imagined shore,
he commenced again to stand,
squint his eyes against
and begin again
to rig the mast.
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