A color the wind makes, rubbing dry leaf to stone.
I turn against the grain of the field and hues shift
the way a pelt would, beneath a hand, the way
his did the day I drove him beyond the limits
to bury his cat, his fingers smoothing over
and over the stilled fur in his lap, my shovel
rattling behind us, scuffing a silence neither moved
to break. There are moments like that when a person just
knows I will always remember this moment, and I have—
how he finally said, Here will do so I parked and
waited, watching the stuttering patterns his digging made,
plaiting glint to dark against the crosshatch of that hill.
Today, sadness riffles through its closet of grey.
Does this rectangle of grave remember its final geometry
of sky? Does the architecture of his bones recall
the pastiche of ochre and umber tincturing their strut?
His cat that day was a brindle—streaked, barred,
and banded. Today the shadows of his memory are too.
by Ruth Moritz
Editor’s Note: This poem’s imagery uses color to highlight emotion and memory, reminding the reader of how sorrow indelibly inscribes its pattern upon the heart.
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