we seek symbolism
in the high wind
and the decrepit walnut tree.
we’re braced for
breakage and fall —
and then, it stands!
the question now is
what’s the right miracle
for us to emulate here:
the wind relenting,
or the tree unyielding?
Asking, for a friend, for there to be a fast end.
Asking for a beloved to lower those crepe-paper lids.
Asking for a mere handful of tears, barely enough to water a seed.
Asking for the door to the dying-room to close firmly behind with barely a sound.
Asking for the body to be washed clean and gently smudged with herb-smoke.
Asking that it be dressed in its customary work clothes, so that it is familiar to those who saw it daily.
Asking for a swift service, a musical show, a feast, a dance.
Asking for there to be no long and loud mourning unless it changes into laughter and back again.
Asking for there to be no burial on land.
Asking for it to be raised on a rough platform and left in the open air.
Asking for the bones to be picked and gnawed.
Asking for the remains to be bleached and powdered in the gold-white sun.
Asking that whatever is left be placed into a river near its delta.
Asking that we spare those bones the tumbling from source to the sea.
Asking for enough time to let them dissolve before swimming there again.
Asking that the name be slowly forgotten.
Asking for someone to open the dying room someday.
Asking, for a friend, that this only should be done
so a baby may be born there.