What heals, what carries us through?
Music for the closing of eyes, to carry us
through the dark; and the rise and fall
of remembered words, and companions
on the way, and dreams: I’ve watched
the emergency crews bear stretchers
out of the house past the children at play
on the doorsteps, shouldered the draped
bodies with my childhood friend, shroud
and box, crypt and fire; armfuls of lilacs
or ashes scattered to lake and woods.
Memory of how each lifted an eyebrow
or laughed or some characteristic shrug
or walk or tilt of head that each would make;
but their songs, the ones that only they
could sing—their songs are done, unless
we learned their tunes: words are not enough.