Laid to Rest

Thick moss covering the wet ground
easily lifted beneath his hands,
opening a space for the burial.
He had come to this space
beside the cold flowing creek
to bring what was left of their memory;
he’d carried the corpse long enough.
Wildness called him from the dark
as he trekked to his old campsite.
Lifting back the green shroud
he pared away the soft earth
and placed the broken twigs
and desiccated flower
that were his fondest hope.
Arranging the bone-like sticks
to settle in their resting place,
he folded the blanket of moss
over the grave in forest silence,
scooped dirt into the cut edges
until the wound was filled.
Then he gently tamped the earth
and turned back to the winter creek,
the frigid crossing and mended life
that was his own.




11 Responses to “Laid to Rest”

  1. Marco says:

    … of symbols, and memories carried long enough.

  2. David Banner says:

    Ah…the ritual of healing and surrender….crucial in these days, I would say…

  3. Bill Dare says:

    Thanks, I needed this…

  4. Dan Matarazzo says:

    Wonderful poem on grief. Don, I have thought you might really like a book called ‘Entering the Healing Ground” by Frances Weller. He talks about the different types of grief including ancestral grief.

  5. Eilish🍓 says:

    This one dad🛐

  6. Graeme says:

    Don, today on my daughters 23rd birthday as she moves from detox to rehab for the 5th time, this poem resonates very deeply within me. Thank you.

  7. Jack says:

    To Graeme: As someone who has been there almost as many times as your daughter [I think 4, maybe even 5], having someone on the outside praying for me was immeasurably important. I made it, 25 yrs ago. I pray she does.

  8. Laurie says:

    Almost speaking as of rituals – which are in fact actions done in purposeful ways that symbolize something much more than the acts themselves.

  9. Pichay says:

    Thank you, Don, for your care and fine stewardship of this process, your careful unfolding of the moss and attention to fragile detail of the soil. Even at this physical distance I am more deeply at peace than 5 minutes ago…

  10. Pat Fitzsimmons says:

    Burying and sanctifying that which is dying within me, creating space for that which is pressing to be born anew. My life, torn and mended, torn and mended………thank you Don

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