We buried you on the hottest day for years.
No breeze. The cornstalks were silent,
the air seething in crowded spaces under
a sky wiped duck-egg blue at the edges.
Through the heavy substance of veteran oaks,
sycamores, gasping over the hedgerows,
you could see all the way down the lazy apron
of the river valley to our town, the thumb of
its church steeple gilt-framed by the haze.
It seemed apt. A decade later, it’s still how
I picture you – though I’m no more than an
unopened parcel of memories in your future
—a girl, each thin-ice step you take a question,
leaving behind farm, family, village, home.
A whole lifetime waiting for you down there,
waiting to gather you up into its embrace.
by Robert Ford
Photo by Christine Klocek-Lim