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A Mother’s Visit

Window-whispered, a September draft…
A shaft of sunlight fell
on her empty chair. She moved me
as a choir of angelic voices, solemn spell,
a passage of Mozart’s Requiem,
and I asked her why she had come as them.
“I saw those who bled and fell,
heard those in Flanders Fields where poppies blow.
Traveling landscapes in the blink of an eye,
I’m moved by the dead still voicing sorrow.
Music moves, denuded of widowhood
once submerged in patriotic defense,
once swayed by patriotic good.
What weeps weeps in no country’s name,
weeps in light of the sacred inhabiting
a gunshot frame, a sacred fallen frame.
Death unfurled this music, unfurled
my real family, which is the world.
Overwhelmed by the voices I would have been,
overwhelmed if I didn’t also see
the spirit of the dead is pure and free.”

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