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Thursday, Jun 20, 2024

It starts with the egg –

A small white thing grows

If cold does not claim 

Mother Penguin walks seventy miles to sea

& Father awaits her return

Uncertain and starving across this wondrous white 

They trust and remember 

Loss is when elephants pause large gray feet

Bow long gray trunks to mourn

Bodies they knew when small

Playing, snorting the same mud 

Now dried into a light and fickle dust 

Loss is when whales refuse to give

Their once-calf’s body to cooler 

Depths, but they carry on,

Expending energy to mourn

Another day 

We listen to voicemails of those we loved

Straining to remember key and pitch

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We put on peacoats and scarves 

Our grandfathers and grandmothers gave us

Feel them in seam and stitch

We ask for signs of our children gone before us,

Find meaning in heat waves

& Marmots crossing backyards

We huddle together — an ancient

Instinct — to be warm, to be close,

To know the shape of Love