I visit his grave on Christmas
and trade mums for a white poinsettia.
The earth has sunk, level now as unleavened bread
of communion, no longer a mound,
that unnatural, risen loaf of the first raw day
he went down, but this ground’s recognizable,
a place to plant my feet, let me live my sorrow,
something understood, like the rise and fall
of his body in my arms so lately gone.
But faith asks more, asks me
to leave the known habits of love,
senseless now and impotent:
his boots that do not walk with me.
The recent snow has softened the earth here
and I see tracks where a deer favored
his grave on the way to somewhere.