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We had planned on and off for months

to bring the last of his ashes sitting

somewhat patiently at the foot of my bed

in the black recyclable box, the lid

partially open, some days a door stop

until the dust and lint of life now

nudged loudly about resting in peace


Yesterday the sons, the sweet girlfriend

who gently suggested we all go and I

checked for the possibility of rain

knowing there would be countless little brooks

and slippery fallen leaves making hills a challenge

plus it was written in bold black on the calendar

What I carried was approximately four pounds


of such white compared to the dark earth

I'd been digging in for hours talking

to plants I hope to save through winter

wearing a white V-neck t-shirt of his

and white pants because I also had

bleaching and cleaning on my agenda

interrupted by the kitchen clock shouting four


I had jotted down the twisting back road

directions on one of his large index cards

and brought water, an empty plastic bag

(my reasons were against park rules)

but harmless in the grand scheme

and we walked across a new bridge over

untroubled waters up hills, through trees


The place where he proposed marriage

without even a ring and the path from

over thirty years ago was not the same

having just shown our wedding album

recently shocking them by throwing it out

Halfway up one son offered to carry

his father as I became short of breath


At trails' end, some of us sat while

I opened the bag, selecting a special spot

by an old tree covered in Bittersweet

where the sun light touched star moss

and he, like sand, like salt, like sugar

was lifted by a sudden wind shift blowing

back in faces watching as I flung


his fineness, his ashes, his dust

his humility, his honesty, his last

will and testament request to be

scattered here and I said aloud

no prayer, no words of parting just

that he please stop roaming the house

and be at peace with his universe

Amen.