Poem is copyright of Emily K. Bright.
Morning of the Funeral
Sanibel Island, Florida
After all this, there is sun.
Sun and utter stillness
in the mangroves.
Here, five years ago, in rented canoes,
we brought her on her last
How can it look the same as then?
Humid, tangled roots,
acres of connecting branches.
David with the guidebook spots
gray bird after large, gray bird.
How selfish to be hot or tired now.
These past five years,
her back, her fingers curved
in on themselves.
When she still could lift herself
in and out of boats, did she skim
palms to water as we moved?
All I can remember
is the dip and rise of paddles,
the aisles forming in the roots.
A pelican swoops down
and surfaces with
All day he will fish and look,
after we have sung our hymns,
after we have dragged our boats ashore.