Published on Academy of American Poets (https://poets.org)


Eulogy

To allow silence
To admit it in us

always moving
Just past

senses, the darkness
What swallows us

and we live amongst
What lives amongst us

*

These grim anchors
That brief sanctity

the sea
Cast quite far

when you seek
—in your hats black

and kerchiefs—
to bury me

*

Do not weep
but once, and a long

time then
Thereafter eat till

your stomach spills over
No more! you'll cry

too full for your eyes
to leak

*

The words will wait

*

Place me in a plain
pine box I have been

for years building
It is splinters

not silver
It is filled of hair

*

Even the tongues
of bells shall still

*

You who will bear
my body along

Spirit me into the six
Do not startle

at its lack of weight
How light

Credit


Copyright © 2011 by Kevin Young. Reprinted from Dear Darkness with the permission of Alfred A. Knopf, Inc.

Author


Kevin Young

Kevin Young's poetry collections include Brown (Alfred A. Knopf, 2018) and Book of Hours (Alfred A. Knopf, 2014), winner of the 2015 Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize. He was elected a Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets in 2020.

Date Published: 2011-01-01

Source URL: https://poets.org/poem/eulogy