She’s not like mother Orca, who held her dead calf
in the waves for days, refused to let sorrow
sink too soon into the depths of Puget Sound.
She’s not like the Torajans, who keep their dead
in community, well-dressed at table, comfortable
in an easy chair, flesh dried bones, shreds of hair.
No lingerings for her. She hurries death along,
gets the body in the ground. Her face remote,
she wants a silence of heart, no hands to hold.
And yet, we see them, her lost ones, now alive.
She carries them, sanctified, in branches of oak
and bittersweet, grasses gold, heavy with seed.
She wears their colors in beads strung round
her neck, her wrists, dancing upon her fingers,
woven into tapestries, resurrected into artistry.