Shall I be scattered
or located?

Strewed across a waveless tide
to sift slowly down to sand

or perched upon a mantle
as anonymous black box?

Shall I disappear
leaving no duties of recall,

no obligations for a yearly
trudge of offspring to a burial site?

Or shall I join the vast
migration of sentimental

articles from one attic to another
until the lot is dumped?

Do I claim the strange
immortality of items

too personal to discard,
too macabre to keep?

How shall I join the vast erasure
the sure disintegration

of things once mortal
who must return to earth?

Sharon Scholl is professor emerita from Jacksonville University, convenes The Gathering of Poets, and maintains the website that gives free music to liberal churches. Her new collection, Seasons, is available from