—in memoriam, Jacqueline Cooley, 1944–2018

Pray for me, I asked the trees.
Or did I order them? Or just stand still
while the wind bore its song among the branches
carrying us both forward, backward, forward,
marrying us to morning light.

In the grief-room-tangle of my hands
folded together to confront the day,
I’ve found all things necessary to construct a life,
a few blues notes or a new agon to slip on.

I’ve come to myself as a new man—again,
broken in all the new places, over and over,
pieced together by the gods,
then broken, pieced, one of the pieces in this fist
I’ve opened and re-opened writing this.