At my husband's funeral, I was the ghost, not him.
I couldn't find the grave;
it was a crowded place, with the living and the dead
and I was alone, except for
one friend
but he
was not my friend, he was a rooster who didn't mind a mad hen.
Sometimes, high in the mountains,
a freeze comes,
or low under the vineyards
the Earth rolls with a nightmare--
either way, the birds leave.
Either way, something shears off inside itself, and this I
could understand.

At my husband's funeral, I howled my throat raw,
as unthinkingly as if I had been born shrieking grief.
A heart moves blood stupidly,
like an ox pulling a cart over a cliff;
gee and haw until you're cross-eyed, the sky opens and turns dark
for the heaviest bird the same as the lightest.

When it was over, I kissed my non-friend the rooster
on the cheek. 
I thanked him for not letting me be there alone.
Maybe being kissed by a screeching ghost scared him
into genuine gallantry,
or having missed his dinner weakened him,
but he only squeezed my hand and said, "Senora..." as softly as
a rose petal descending on 
the lid of a coffin.

This poem is taken from a dream that woke me up.



Sioux Roslawski said…
How come MY dreams never inspire anything like this? Now I'm even envious of your dreams/nightmares...
Kerry O'Connor said…
I am not surprised that you can turn your dreams into poetry - even in sleep I imagine your brain teams with ideas.

Love these lines especially:

A heart moves blood stupidly,
like an ox pulling a cart over a cliff...
hedgewitch said…
This has that dream-voice to it, indeed, where images blend with language to become tombstones of ideas, or perhaps acorns thereof--frankly, my dreams have taken me to way too many funerals over the years, and this one is strong with that sense of things 'breaking off inside,' one large despair calving smaller ones like an ice shelf, into some fluid of the subconscious where hopefully they drift south and melt. beautifully executed, Shay.
Mama Zen said…
What an incredible piece of writing! The third stanza is breathtaking and the finality of the close is flawless.
Cloudia said…
Your usual high level work with a killer ending!

I want to tell you that I just ordered your book on Amazon! I cannot wait to receive it and read it. I love your poetry and I am a fan.
Lynn said…
Oh my - your dreams!
Loved it all esp how your only friend there wasn't a friend, but rather a rooster, also known as a cock. La la mosk
Sherry Blue Sky said…
Wow, if only I could have dreams that birthed a poem like this. It is stupendous, with too many GORGEOUS phrases to quote.

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