Everything Moving Toward Elegy in This Season of Lost Light

with a line from Ciaran Berry

Time to call out
the skirling ghosts, to count like beads
on an abacus, your disappointments.

This day began with my order
Do Not Resuscitate
accepted crisply over the phone.

Now I also move toward elegy,
ask your forgiveness for trying
to interrupt your dying.

Here at your bedside I will build
a longboat. Lay as keel, your birth.
Sculpt the ribs, fit the strakes

from what came later. Caulk with
images—the child you were, the boy.
Then lay the man you are 

on folded sails; loose the mooring
and release you to your fathers.
Polaris bright above to steer you home.

Copyright © 2016 by Cathie Sandstrom. Originally published in Clementine Unbound, December 2016. Used with permission of the author.