Dust and mist

Beneath hot blue sky,
baked green canvas,
shimmering air and
flowers laid
on polished copper
held above the open grave
by dull grey metal and webbing
they knelt by mounded dirt.

Jeff, then Sally,
Brother, Sister,
then John, Lauren
(son, daughter)

let the grey dust of Melinda
through their fingers
into the light
stealing sideways
under the tent
(as it sometimes does
through clouds after
a Delta storm).

Melinda drifted in
the last emptiness
between Jean and
Mike below
waiting.

The grave breathed in.
And then, as gentle as a
memory of a smile
nearly lost,
out.

Free as steam rising
from coffee on a cold day
sister dust
lifted as dry promise
into the beam
a last and only time
to wrap
over and around the family
entirely blessed
before the preacher said a word.


– Posted on the journey

About garygunderson

Vice President, Faith Health, Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center in Winston-Salem, NC. Author, Leading Causes of Life, Deeply Woven Roots, Boundary Leaders and Religion and the Heath of the Public. Secretary, Stakeholder Health (Health Systems Learning Group).
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