Planting at Your Grave
- It is warm for November
- and the earth is dry and brittle,
- starved for flowers.
- I have to claw at the grass, pull it back by the hair
- trek back and forth to the water hose,
- muddy the soil like a child about to make pies.
- Your child for only ten years,
- I am playing again;
- I am sitting on your sun-drenched lap.
- I bury my hands in the womb of the dirt,
- picking through the weeds,
- letting myself take root,
- and all the time I feel like scratching my way down to you
- but that thought passes
- as I step back and see what I’ve planted—
- purple mums and Gerber daisies.
- Still, I want your voice, your hand, your guidance
- I want visitation rights. But I’ll come when I’m called, Daddy.
- Only then.
- You should be loving this—
- You had to force me to do yard work,
- and here I am with rake and shovel
- tending what I can for you.
- Look at these purple mums and Gerber daisies
- and see your daughter planted on your grave.
- I am not rooted here;
- Watch me walk into the world and live the hell out of it.
- I am not dead.
- Not most of me.
A Time for Silence
- And every bursting forth rising in me,
- each noise of joy and mourning and release
- that clamors through my thoughts to unwind, free
- itself of sound and drift to emptied peace
- is now restrained, held back, suppressed. Instead,
- this voice is breezeless; all the chimes are still.
- Everything is mute — a winter bed
- slept in by one — sheets cold, white as a pill.
- This conversation has its partners, though.
- Insight, reflection, prayer, and not least, grace
- run warm fingers through the white-iris snow
- that piles from my thoughts at steady pace.
- The bold and sun-drenched streak there in the white
- of that mute flower is the spoken light.
Annabelle Moseley served as the 2009–2010 Walt Whitman Birthplace Writer-in-Residence and was named 2014 Long Island Poet of the Year.
Her books include The Clock of the Long Now and The Fish Has Swallowed Earth. Her most recent is a double volume of poetry entitled: A Ship to Hold the World and The Marionette’s Ascent (Wiseblood Books, 2014).
Moseley is the winner of an Amy Award from Poets & Writers and a First Place Writer’s Digest Poetry Prize. Moseley is a lecturer at St. Joseph’s College and founding editor of String Poet, the online journal of poetry and music.