To a Friend at Rilke’s Grave in Raron
a soft song—a clinking of spoons
when the world draws them
The pines trees know how the dark hum
like a promise. And if it is a promise
I stand in bare feet near my rucksack
to his grave. The mountains offer distance,
I barely recall. Just the blue repeating
three words that fall from the air
And as I whisper them over and over
I cannot say the dead don’t move toward
its worn jacket on the grass
is a spinnaker in the wind
as I can—until the shadow of his cross
through the mosaic of gravestones
near each grave. Cross the corner
and then I see you just as you are—awoken
the soft green slope of the hill ends
don’t forget her, she’s still on the hill,
her face in profile, arms resting on knees
Aren’t parts of us buried in the lands we meet?
sure as flint. There are foxes like wood smoke
They know one of their own. They will find you.
Finalist, Terrain Poetry Contest 2018, judged by Jane Hirshfield.