Compost and a Brown Bear

July 4 was the Saturday we buried my dad
gathered around his box
mostly crying
no spoken out loud
earth to earth
ashes to ashes
dust to dust
in sure and certain thoughts
our hearts committed him
death conveyed him
fistfuls of homegrown compost
bits of eggshell and strawberry hulls peeking out
tossed in and down to him
perspiration from our hands
the only thing still clinging
hand to earth
earth to box
box to ground
we buried him with
not in
his compost pile
giving back to the ground
that which was given to us

July 18 was the Saturday a black bear walked behind my mom
her bare feet frigid in the Tennessee river
socks and shoes a rock out of reach
ears filled with rushing water
oblivious to sounds
her limited purview
my rock perch facing her
claimed one precarious rock step at a time
across the gently raging river
loud enough to suffocate sound
the sound of my voice
back about the bear
minding its own business
meandering upstream
looking for something
a tree
a root
a child
not looking for
or interested in
my mom

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *