–after Li Young-Lee
Ten years ago this week
our mother died, her ashes
in a blue urn, her and his together,
the urn on a shelf in a mausoleum,
all hush and quiet, as if the dead
could hear and be disturbed by the living.
What are we to do with this story of ash,
hum of old life that still rings out to warm
the cold, dark place where they rest?
The others, each urn in its own cubby,
take up the song, night passing to day
and back to night, in a register we can almost hear.
Suzy Harris grew up in Indiana and has lived in Portland, Oregon for her adult life. She is now retired and has returned to poetry, watercolor, oil pastel crayons, and other means of playing with color and words. Her poems have appeared most recently in Clackamas Literary Review and Williwaw and are forthcoming in Rain Magazine and Switchgrass Review. She is working on a chapbook about becoming deaf and learning to hear with a cochlear implant.