He is crossing those four green fields now.
On the horizon, blossoms falling like snow.
A chorus calls his name. He does not break stride
toward a small house. He can hear his mother’s sigh
Now he eyes his father holding a tall ladder
and at the top of the ladder stands his brother
skimming the gable, shaping the letters S.H.
in wet plaster. It covers his hands and knees
as blood did on the day he died. They turn
to go inside where his mother is churning butter.
From Tom Sexton’s collection, A Ladder of Cranes, ©2015. Reprinted with permission from University of Alaska Press.