Burying my mother

March 21, 2013

This is what our wandering life has come to.
Our dead stay where they’re put, in different states.
We buried her beside the Texan, who
also loved her. Then we closed the gates.

None of us will join her. There’s the spot
they dug for hours to slide my brother in.
He lies beside my father in her plot—
or what was hers once—beneath Nebraska sun.

In Philadelphia, now, I will not rave
or overstate my grief. I won’t fly with flowers
to grace their level markers. I’m not brave.
Our family’s scattered. Will be. Nothing’s surer.

Who is she, elbow cocked against the sun,
waving to me this morning on the lawn?