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Elegy
by Amanda Morris
10/30/06
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-for my spunky Great-Aunt Zelma from Kentucky

I.
Reaching in my jeans,
I tuck hand in pocket,
Press body to fence post,
And twine your smile around
My fingers as if wheat
Straw after harvest. "Wind
To thy wings," and snatches
of some other blessing on
My lips, I watch clouds
Collide, merge into one.

II.
Yesterday he lifted you,
Cradled your limp form,
Turned your candle on end
Spilling wax across
The walnut table top.
I felt his fingertip press
Into the wax, scribing your
Name on a list I carry.

III.
I took the list out last
Night in the dark,
Traced each letter,
Seeing each face. Outside
My dog huddled a defense
Against the cold.

IV.
I fear I fear I fear
The empty space below
Your name- I fear
The next inscription.
His finger twitches.
He knows but won't tell.

V.
I think I said goodbye
Before he drew your name-
That summer, listening to
Stories on your porch,
The smell of sweat, tea,
And your old dog on my hand.

10/24/06


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