Veils, and Dogs

We wear veils
when our voice
doesn’t work

so much to say
it tumbles about
cluttering thought

the room is too small
the sentence too brief
nothing fits in easily
speech halts



Today the old dog
was put to sleep,
yes, death, she was
suffering too much
we couldn’t know clearly
but falling down stairs
pooping as she struggled
to walk across a room
but she was a hundred and one
and in just a few days changed.

The light went out instantly
warm stillness remaining
into the earth before it cooled
we cover our feelings
with shovels of clay
but cannot forget
her devotion
always protecting
her sheep, her back to us
looking outward,
The cats know.


Memorial Worship

The Pastor is up there giving
an homily for our lost friend
and beyond,   symbols,   a blank wall
we should see through,  a cross,
a tapestry, or a vast vacancy.

We are to focus on the absent
but only see a wall of backs
bare heads, necks, hair, collars, moles
faces left and right stare ahead
not seeing each other
turning backs on the many
obedient, should we worship thus
not seeing each other. Not facing grief.

Why do we ignore the living?
in these white churches
should there not be drama
the Gods there in front
playing out the life, the death,
at the center an amphitheater
where we can see crying
lamentations, and damn the Gods
for it, hold hands, touch.

Face the past, remember.
Stand in a circle, see each other
affirm our presence
the dead is gone.