Today's poem is by Ruth Valentine

After Life

First the coffin burns,
then everything you recognised as him,
his hair, the skin of his hands, is vaporised,
two-thousand-degree unanswerable blaze.
The segments of his brain, that once lit up
an MRI scan, now illuminate
the brick walls of this kiln, which is creating
something new from the old form of his being,
since matter cannot destroy itself, but is

reclaimed. When you take the urn in your hands
and feel the weight of him shift, you realise
what you knew as him, what you woke beside at night,
is somewhere else, not as in afterlife,
but as in the cold air in the avenue
of plane-trees outside, the gold leaves darkening
on the grass, the squirrel leaping into winter.

Copyright © 2017 Ruth Valentine All rights reserved
from Downpour
Smokestack Books
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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