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National Poetry Month–Mom


I’m confused by my need to apologize for Dad
Who left your ashes for the funeral home to dispose of,
Anyway, they saw fit.

I have no tombstone to address, and
You’re not in the garden where you used to be.
If you were planted in my garden, each sprig and fall
I could sink my hands into you.

Yesterday, as I shopped for bone meal and Rapid Gro
at Franks Nursery and Crafts,
I perused the aisles of annuals and perennials.
You weren’t hiding behind shrubbery wrapped in burlap bags.

Thinking of white crosses on the graves of unknown soldiers, I
Wondered if any cemetery will do. I remember
The pond at the cemetery on Woodward Avenue.

You went to mourn, and I fed the ducks.

As caretaker, I have failed to tend your grave, as I failed
to tend to your life. Watering down Vodka wasn’t
An answer r then, and today as breadcrumbs float on this
Green pond I also realize in your departure
You’ve lightened my load.

~poem copyright Kim Nixon

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