Varsha Shah

(for D.T.)

As the morning blustered outside,
He lay frozen dark inside
A warm brightly-lit room, deaf to the eulogy
Offered with incense, flowers and fruit.

Chants rose from a language, pictorial
Words invoked familiar spirits.
Sounds made from the body's five winds
Deadened inside, left the mourners mute.

Calligraphic songs wept in diagonal flow
Looking for shelter on red rice paper,
Bamboo sticks casting intricate pyres,
Bones ready to restore body with the earth.

What's occult drifted from the father,
Towers of ink, trees & tepees,
Geometry unfolding a landscape of loss,
The daughter wailed in praise, son hailed "O Father!"

The pictures transcribed possibilities
In a script grander than trophies, or
Memorials sculpted from marble, or cast in bronze
He must have considered once lying awake.

Poems used with permission of the authors, and may not be re-used without their permission.