– For Linda Kunz
I walk the cliff above the waterfall.
So few moons rising still
they shake their powdery heads.
From the beaten rocks a psalm
announces your arrival
in that chorus your birth, your death.
From primeval dust, your atoms
reassemble. You rise among the leaves
of the night-blooming jasmine.
I am not alone here to meet you -
see the hundreds who hold every fragment of you
intact, still breathing, in their hands.
You compose perfect strings of words
your song an imperfect cadence now.
Your radiance startles the night.
From the General's Journal
No water. Dry rock and dry throats.
Children picking up our bones
the salt, the bitter, the forbidden, the sweet.
The arched skull of this country, its hard edge
wells up, like a pool of guilt, in my gaze.
There is snow in the silence of the visiting room, spaces
crackling with messages that end up nowhere
the drill of wheel and return: turning on heels till,
after the wolves and before the elms –
after home – empty doorways frame the absence.
I, too, have declared war
by the double-bladed ax: heavy, beyond
a tatter of shadows peaked to white.
And weariness follows, and the infinite ache.
The earth is insufficient for our graves.
© Elizabeth Lara
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