Questions on the Sixteenth Anniversary of Your Death
for my mother
Where do you walk now?
What new maps have you drawn,
or have you left maps behind?
How is your heart? Does turquoise
in a stone or lake still bring you joy?
Wars have ended, and begun,
since your soul and body parted ways.
Trees have fallen in brutal derechos,
acorns burrowed into the soft earth
with one green root. I have slept,
and dreamt, and walked in rain;
my skin has burnt, healed,
darkened. A million words
swarm around me, but
I do not know if any of mine
reach you, nor do I have any of yours
to hold to my heart and praise.
Are you humming as you travel?
Which road will you take next?
Do you think of me?
I keep your memory
like a singing cricket
on the hearth of my heart.
Those notes, steady as footsteps,
will outlive both of us.
That’s all I know for sure.
Deborah A. Miranda