On My Way Home From Your Mother’s Funeral
On my way home from your mother’s funeral I stopped, compelled to take a picture:
The ice on the trees, the sun, we live in a glass world now —
Today, just today, I’m sure, it is already changing from the moment
I preserved to remember; nothing is melting now I will remember.
The rainbows I did not capture in the photo, they come and go as I turn,
Exchange perspectives, drive all the way home to my yard
Where it is evident who was here after the snow, footprints preserved.
Today’s unyielding ice fully bears the crow who leaves no trace as he waits for me,
Meets my eye before leaving silently, stretched where he folded against the cold
Until something in him said fly. And there he went, climbing air like certainty.
The truth, I should say: I didn’t stop the car to take a picture. My son was with me
Both of us returning from the funeral and I watched him absorb the experience
Like light on black velvet, unclear what has entered, what will fade, what will cling.
I answered questions he had about holy water but not mortality
And maybe, I think, this is meaningful unto itself, water the essential
Feminine avatar that flows and nurtures and washes clean or away
It yields, it wears away, it holds all it dissolves in suspension, cycling through forms
Frozen so hard it can hold a blade’s edge if sharpened and that is just one way
It can hurt you. I am thinking of your mother and mine and
Uncomfortably, I realize the only one I am not thinking of is you.
Shana Ross is a poet and playwright with a BA and MBA from Yale University. She bought her first computer working the graveyard shift in a windchime factory, and now pays her bills as a consultant and leadership expert. Since resuming her writing career in 2018, she has accumulated over 25 publication credits, including Anapest Journal, Chautauqua Journal, Ghost City Review, Mad Scientist Journal, The Sunlight Press, and Writers Resist. She is the recipient of a 2019 Parent-Writer Fellowship to Martha’s Vineyard Institute of Creative Writing, and serves as an editor for Luna Station Quarterly.