Loss can arrive like a backlog of undelivered mail,
Clumps of envelopes bound by cracking rubber bands.
Memories find us even in those far, uncaring corners,
Where we’ve fled to somewhere that will outlast it all.
Even atop uncaring glaciers, we can’t tell which memories are real.

When hydrologists’ tubes spill out pellets,
It’s “corn snow,” and makes sampling difficult.
What was once layers and flakes are now loose granules.
Snowpack as a record of all the weeks and days and storms,
And now the story is forgotten.

Something about the melt and freeze,
Back and forth, meanings are lost.
Intentions cannot abide by time.
The library at Alexandria, burnt cream sauces, civil war currencies,
Both hopes and greatness unable to sustain the weight of loss.

Crumbling red barns on the edges of abandoned Appalachia
Invite curiosity, not at what might have been,
But what might be recaptured.
The lost brightness leads us back – to ask how we might return,
Not how we might progress.

Who can even recall the mourners?
The time for grieving ends and our losses fade.
This is why we sleep, to stave off the future,
To drag our feet and stop marching forward.
This is why we wake with astonishment, blinking our old eyes.