Lisa Ezzard, The Scattering

Lisa Ezzard
THE SCATTERING

the ashes are from a woman
named Maureen –
my husband’s lost wife
who I only meet
as I pour her
into my pottery urn

who I only feel
when I scoop my hand in
to hold small hunks
of her bone

her white sparkling dust
clings to me
as I scatter her
into the lake
where the dog
laps her up

what’s left of her
we rub on our pant legs
while we circle around each other
in silence, wondering

how could we be so bold?
to reach in
to grab a messy handful
that spills
like all the sand and gravel
we’d picked up as children
sifting all sorts of remnants
of life, not knowing

until this dust of a wife
I breath into me
until her death resounds
in the song that I sing
which is heard
before it comes out
of my mouth

until I begin to sparkle
with aging white borders
like one’s body
once it is cast into the air

we sit in silence
with the lake
and the forest
saying Maureen, Maureen.

Author’s Comment: This poem embodies my first encounter with touching and holding the remnants of a human form turned to white ash and bone particles. I was scattering the ashes of a woman I had never met, but a woman whose soul/being was now dwelling inside my husband and his community of friends.

Bio: Lisa Ezzard, a long-time poet, is a member of the Squaw Valley Community of Writers and has received grants to write at Casa Don Miguel in Patzcuaro, Mexico, and at Hambidge Art Center in the Smoky Mountains. Her poetry book, Vintage, published by Native Press, chronicles a year of growing wine grapes and making wine in the Appalachians of North Georgia, where she is 6th generation on a family farm. She has spent her adult life teaching, editing, and performing poetry in a wide variety of venues throughout California, Georgia, and North Carolina.

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