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~in memory of Brendan
We make each other a mooring,
early evening here in the small world,
where gods grumble and root in the dirt
and the red barn molders in summer light,
setting ripe fields to fire.
What we are doing is interpreting
the cirrus clouds, wisps
of names, our beloved dead
who console us with such luminous days
so that we remember them all over again.
Children trail their fingers
in the creek. Birds braid tree limbs
into fluency, while we flicker like old photographs
in the dwindling light. A quarter moon
emerges, a rain halo around it—and you,
my younger brother, my twenty years-gone
companion—flicker on the edge of fire-fly shine.
I breathe deep the soaked wine of fallen apples,
call up your dark curls, long limbs,
your head thrown back in a laugh.
But it is only imagination, summer’s limitless
acres. Words cannot bring you back.
But, if words can do anything,
Let them swirl in constellations.
Let them hold you as I can’t.
Let them bless this ink with stars.
Copyright 2016 Sharon Fagan McDermott. Originally published in Eclectica Magazine, April 2016
Sharon Fagan McDermott