Lay these words into the dead man's grave next to the almonds and black cherries--- tiny skulls and flowering blood-drops, eyes, and Thou, O bitterness that pillows his head. Lay these words on the dead man's eyelids like eyebrights, like medieval trumpet flowers that will flourish, this time, in the shade. Let the beheaded tulips glisten with rain. Lay these words on his drowned eyelids like coins or stars, ancillary eyes. Canopy the swollen sky with sunspots while thunder addresses the ground. Syllable by syllable, clawed and handled, the words have united in grief. It is the ghostly hour of lamentation, the void's turn, mournful and absolute. Lay these words on the dead man's lips like burning tongs, a tongue of flame. A scouring eagle wheels and shrieks. Let God pray to us for this man.
Edward Hirsch - 1950-
My father in the night shuffling from room to room on an obscure mission through the hallway. Help me, spirits, to penetrate his dream and ease his restless passage. Lay back the darkness for a salesman who could charm everything but the shadows, an immigrant who stands on the threshold of a vast night without his walker or his cane and cannot remember what he meant to say, though his right arm is raised, as if in prophecy, while his left shakes uselessly in warning. My father in the night shuffling from room to room is no longer a father or a husband or a son, but a boy standing on the edge of a forest listening to the distant cry of wolves, to wild dogs, to primitive wingbeats shuddering in the treetops.