<%@ Language=VBScript %> Graveside Testament - Mused - the BellaOnline Literary Review Magazine
BellaOnline Literary Review
Red Shouldered Hawk by Al Rollins

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Graveside Testament

Elaine Frankonis

On the day they folded him
barefoot and grim
into that final silence,
there was no space left to tuck a cry.

We fed him to winter,
to the honest needs of roots.

"There were signs," she says.

(Above her breath, four crows
defile the lacework
of a snowy sycamore.)

"One day I saw three small doves
flying above his car.
And then there were the crows."

(A nervous rustle. A shift of feathers.)

"They gathered in the trees behind our house
on the day he came home the first time.
Thousands, like charred leaves,
black snow.

He had gone alone to the back porch
to face the sun. Suddenly
he was in the doorway,
his face dark with anger.

He said the noise was killing him."

(From below the snow, a frozen sigh.)