by Tobi Alfier
I don’t remember much.
Arrivals and departures blur
like an outdoor square on market day
some place, some lovely place,
where the language is not mine.
It is finally warm after a winter
both wicked and perilous.
Hand-knit scarves the color of forests
and brambled berries now replaced
by headscarves in fruited hues.
Willows bend, applaud their reflections
in quiet rivers, still but for the splash
of dragonfly, the sound of graceful
herons landing among lilypads
and algae. They check the sun,
fly off again.
I know the calendar, welcome
new growth in the fields,
turn of the waterwheel, melody
of tractors and trains from miles
away. But I did not know how much,
how much the weight his final
departure would leave on the hearts
of all, no matter the memories,
each different and owned without
disgrace, like quicksilver mirages
widening in the unaccompanied sun.
* * * * *
"Elegy" was first published in Main Street Rag (2019/2020).
Tobi Alfier is a multiple Pushcart nominee and multiple Best of the Net nominee. Slices of Alice & Other Character Studies was published by Cholla Needles Press. Symmetry: earth and sky is forthcoming from Main Street Rag. She is co-editor of San Pedro River Review (www.bluehorsepress.com).