Dad and Death

There lies my dad under the remnants of deathly yew
and the scattered blush of Christmas berries,
shy amid a drizzle of snow and the peep of winter pansies.

Here is him all stone and bone and frozen earth
gently sliding his feet toward our mother's oil-warm and fecund core.

Here he lies as the seasons above him change
and beneath
there is no knowledge of chilly toes, or frosty soil or hungry birds;
no notion of us with our fragmented hearts beating on
without his.

He lies well clothed in his deep dug bed
fully complicit in the inevitable dissolving of his science
into mist and compost.
He is a festive feast for soft and restless worms
and a fertile yet lonely allotment
for the reluctant in-tilling of our goodbyes.

(January 2009)