Tending the Cairns



Tending the Cairns

Rain begins as I do but I keep walking, only
showers, sure I have time to get to the rock

two miles out the road into the woods,
climbing slowly to a ridge it never reaches.

Here is where my husband walked with me
his last time, in this season when we recount

liberation in order to count, the Passover meal
served after we eat bitterness and tears,

after we remember how we arrived
at this table. Winter walks hid what fell,

pillars of freeze and melt, how weather
broke the cairns I’ve built for him for years.

Now I reach the rock, my shoes muddy,
my hair a moist frazzle but no rain yet,

time to gather fallen stones and rebuild
balance, adding one stone I chose today, one

each visit. I bow, I tell him stories we told
last night then turn for home, running in rain.

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