the things we buried
The shining jewel button
from my grandmother’s sweater;
small, quick hands
thread unravelled and then tucked away —
the shimmer kept safe (momentarily)
in my pocket. Feel the rub
of it against my palm all day.
Imagine its secret sparkle.
Wordless when she asks me
to search for the missing button.
It’s always something, she says,
and I understand this means more than I realize.
Stare, instead, at the bare expanse of wool
thread dangling, button missing,
You buried the poodle in the backyard,
under the apple tree, you said,
but everyone concerned about the fruit,
proximity to death.
Would the apples be mealy,
browned, rotten right through?
So, instead you found a quiet corner
and buried him late at night,
They slept and you dug,
foregoing shovel for bare hands
wanting the feel of the earth to be your last
memory of him.
Tiny coffin, plain wood.
All the memories: the booties,
the pale bonnet, the soft, worn blanket.
What would they have said,
watching the earth swallow the pine box?
There would be no marker,
no long, tearful elegy,
soon, no one left to remember,
only the mound of dirt,