John Grey: Ashes to Oceans

marathonlitreview —  February 2, 2014 — Leave a comment

The good news is the tumor’s gone.
The bad news…your body went with it.
It’s ash in a jar now.
We’re on our way to your favorite beach.

Your sister’s driving.
Her husband’s in the back
with Amy and Tim.
I’m riding shotgun,
holding your remains.

The kids are quieter than normal,
almost solemn.
I’m sure you’d see this
as more a celebratory day
but seeing the best in everything
is a privilege of the dead.
We stop at the beach,
your favorite spot,
walk cautiously on rocks
you used to bounce across,
each of us in turn
tossing grains of you
into the rough, roiling waters.

Then Amy throws some of you
into the sea grass.
Tim buries a shard of bone in the sand.
If eternity was figuring
on a worm-fest six feet under
then it’s in for a surprise.
Your sister keeps saying the whole time
that it’s what you would have wanted.
She says you never really connected with people,
especially your family.
But you and the ocean were quite a pair.
You once said to me you had no preference
one way or the other.

We scatter you.
Then we gather up ourselves and go home.
John Grey is an Australian born poet. Recently published in International Poetry Review, Sanskrit and the science fiction anthology, “Futuredaze” with work upcoming in Clackamas Literary Review, New Orphic Review and Nerve Cowboy.

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