Comment on this article


by Neil Aitken

pulling through Montana in the snow
we cling to the tail lights of the last car
blurring back into the darkness
"Like the inside of a coffin," my father says
as if knowing the exact shade the dead see
lying stiff, frozen eyes peering up through closed lids
he shifts in his seat, watches the road disappear
thinks again of dying and the burials we've seen
his father's simple reduction to ashes
how small the urn, how light, for a man
that stood 6'3, carried a boy on his shoulders,
lived on trains as a youth, picked apples as a man
this past summer, watching him thin
to disappearing, blurring out lines between lives
my father trying to return pieces, fragments, time
the body burning, the dark smells of crematoriums,
funeral homes, pale face lawyers
something merges, ends, and begins again
my father placing the ashes back into the air
offerings to the skies, to the seas,
unaware how Buddhist he is at this moment
how the faint sound of bagpipes echoes
how the ashes fall catching light
reflecting something back into the silence
the dark birth of the sun coming into view.

Neil Aitken: Poetry & Art


Return to:

[New] [Archives] [Join] [Contact Us] [Poetry in Motion] [Store] [Staff] [Guidelines]