Cathie Sandstrom, “Everything Moving toward Elegy…”

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Everything Moving toward Elegy in This Season of Lost Light

          with a line from Ciaran Berry
                                   Time to call out
 the skirling ghosts, to count like beads
 on an abacus, your disappointments.

This day began with my order
Do Not Resuscitate
accepted crisply over the phone.

Now I also move toward elegy,
ask your forgiveness for trying
to interrupt your dying.

Here at your bedside I will build
a longboat. Lay as keel, your birth.
Sculpt the ribs, fit the strakes

from what came later. Caulk with
images—the child you were, the boy.
Then lay the man you are

on folded sails; loose the mooring
and release you to your fathers.
Polaris bright above to steer you home.

 


Cathie Sandstrom’s poems have appeared in Ploughshares, Lyric, The Comstock Review, and Cider Press Review, among others, and are forthcoming in The Southern Review. She was a finalist in the Poets & Writers’ California Writers Exchange, and her poem “You, Again” is in the artists’ book collection at the Getty Museum in Los Angeles. A military brat who’s lived in four countries and ten states, she finally stopped wandering when she arrived in Sierra Madre, California.


 

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