Nadia Chaney


Eulogy Under Ice


on your anniversary I found

a striped chorus frog

widely staring the too soon thaw

 

hands tiny forever outreaching

knees wide pressed open and flat

how much I wanted to keep him

though of course I didn’t

that wet dead thing

 

the fierce pine beetle

its fiendish chew

when winter weakened by

a billion suns

relinquished

you

unchecked to the landfill

of cold bones and folded clothes

and the pine

undaunted big brothers

of snow and white deer

for sawdust and rough twine

 

though your shortened life is more

boreal forest ripped apart

like lace seams of a bride betrayed

by forces that never felt

the seasons of your skies

the pulse of salmon

in your veins

 

today your wet eyes hang over me

in snow-full clouds that drift

down in tiny silent psalms

with the northern highway of your old letters

cutting through lost mountains of time

and the old country of us

now empty standing only

unseasoned birds who search for home

 

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return return return return return return

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