August 10, 2017
Left Holding the Gifts
August 10, 2017

I Held and Released You

I remember you today on the day that you died.
The wind by the river is much colder today.

Over frozen snow from the house to the rocks by the river,
I carried you in my hands in a box.

As I carried you today with no gloves, they came with me.
Some of them knew you and others did not.

Each was a caregiver either current or past.
Some were remembering someone who had died.

They warmly encircled me as I remember you today.
Some were still holding the parent they have.

Over the slippery rocks to the river’s edge, I carried you
as the sun set today on the same day that you died.

It is and is not you, inside the bag inside the box inside the box
which I hold in my hands with no gloves.

My cold hands hold you as I did on the day that you died.
Above, a sunset with lapping river below.

Scooped, briefly held, I then released and dispersed you.
One said at that moment birds flew over.

My ashy hands let you go a second time at low tide.
One said at that moment a deer came into view.

On the day that you died, they held me as I released you
A cold orange sunset by the river, I held you.

Thyme N. Haff

2016 January 28