Art by S. Auberle
ON GOOD FRIDAY AT CALVARY CEMETERY
Mary Theresa is being laid to rest.
Out north of town the mountain
towers, brown in a dry season,
only a pale crown of white at the peak.
Mourners are gathering at the casket
while I chase my granddaughter
over graves warm in the afternoon sun.
In her dress the color of the sky,
she is a small chalice, filled with light.
Mariah is just learning language
and over and over she calls out
her newest word … angel
She sees angels everywhere --
holding a delicate egg in Easter grasses,
offering a tulip, next to the small Pinocchio
guarding a spirit child, but she only bends to look,
knowing someone needs it more than her.
Mariah hugs a teddy bear, abandoned carelessly,
as a baby would have left it in life,
dances with windchimes hanging from branches,
considers the lilies beneath and
watching her, I feel the weight of mortality
slipping from my shoulders,
down into the warm earth that waits for Mary,
where Isaac and Jincy, Elijah and Annie,
Leo and Baby Annalise already rest and I,
walking quickly past their stones,
Bird, Mariah sings, and tree
and behind me there is weeping
and a faint prayer drifting on the wind
off the mountain.
My long black skirt
holds me back, but I want to run
away from Death's empty vessel,
up to that snowy peak, see Seraphim
and white rabbits and risen gods,
hear Mary laugh once more and tell me
lucky enough to be born Irish
lucky enough …
Yet might this not be heaven right down here?
Could this be all that is really needed --
this lucky moment when my arms are filled
with singing child and sunlight
and silky mountain breezes?
~ S. Auberle
an old piece, but one that calls to me this Easter season..